The perils of Trump’s disastrous Iran decision

In a sadly predictable move, President Trump has drastically escalated his attacks on Iran, criticizing them on Friday for a laundry list of things, accusing them of not adhering to the “spirit” of the 2015 nuclear deal, and taking umbrage that Iran continues to be a regional power that won’t take U.S. dictation. But most importantly, Trump not only announced that he is decertifying the nuclear deal (which eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran effectively abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weapons), but also branded the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — a military branch of the Iranian government — a terrorist organization, and levied specific sanctions on them.

In tone and substance, Trump’s speech was still more restrained than the warmonger caucus would have liked. He didn’t unilaterally breach the deal, as neocons had been pushing him to. Still, it is a thumb in the eye of Iran — especially the IRGC designation — and could easily lead to an escalating tit-for-tat, just like the president’s constant stupid blustering has done with North Korea.

To wit:

“This is reckless beyond the extreme,” said Barbara Slavin, an Iran expert at the Atlantic Council. “The reason being is that to designate the armed forces of another country as terrorists is to invite retaliation. Would the designation mean that U.S. drone attacks on IRGC personnel are fair game? If so, expect to see Iranian proxies start killing U.S. military personnel again in Iraq or in Afghanistan or Syria.” [BuzzFeed News]

Now, the decertification itself does not automatically change anything. Instead, Congress now gets 60 days to decide if it wants to re-impose sanctions, under an expedited process immune to a filibuster, or change the terms of the deal with a new bill. And so, perhaps the most important question …read more

Source:: The Week – World

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