The US credibility in the world has suffered a severe blow after President Donald Trump pulled out of a three-year-old nuclear deal with Iran, despite complete compliance of the agreement by the Islamic state. Its impact will be negligible on Iran but the sanctions will not only hurt big companies of the US but also its allies. The decision will also push the US into the Middle East crisis and may imperil world peace if the war expands.
According to experts, Trump was pushed to exit the deal by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman, whose countries are already engaged in low-level wars with Iran. However, the decision will not only give a free hand to Iran to enrich uranium and build nuclear weapons but also pave the way for more active role of the US in the Middle East conflict on behalf of its allies. It increases chances of more US airstrikes on Syria. It would also invite Russia to come to the rescue of its allies, which could broaden the scope of the war.
Everybody knew Trump would withdraw from the agreement. He was continuously attacking the nuclear agreement, which had been endorsed by the UN Security Council and backed by the entire international community. By pulling out of the agreement, the US has not only blocked a solution which could prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons but also harmed its reputation as a reliable partner. All countries of the world will be careful about its erratic behaviour before signing an agreement with it in future and those, who have already inked pacts with it, must be skeptical about their implementation. According to analysts, Trump had already ruined the reputation and credibility of his country by repeatedly attacking the nuclear agreement, even if he had not scrapped it. “Trump, a real estate magnate, who has even overgeneralized his transactional view to international conventions and laws, saw the nuclear agreement as a commodity rather than as an internationally binding agreement. His approach towards the agreement has been a mockery of the world and international law. He has used the harshest language against it, calling it ‘horrible’, ‘worst’ ‘laughable’. All the rash remarks were taking place despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency – the international body responsible under the terms of the deal for certifying Iranian compliance – had confirmed in each quarterly report that Tehran had been fully living up to its commitments,” the Tehran Times said.
Under the pact, Iran’s nuclear programme was subject to the most robust monitoring, verification, and inspection regime in modern history. “We have the strongest verification regime in Iran. We are doing our job impartially, objectively and factually,” IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano said before the US decision. Iran had also agreed to implement the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Safeguards Agreement which could continue forever. However, the US decision bulldozed all. Even the US media was outraged at it. “America’s credibility on the world stage suffered a severe blow when President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, signaling that the United States’ word lasts only as long as its next presidential election. America is now in violation of an accord it negotiated in good faith along with China, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, and with which Iran has complied since the deal was ratified. Trump’s rationale for withdrawing the United States and reinstating economic sanctions — that the ’horrible, one-sided deal’ ‘allowed Iran’ ‘to continue enriching uranium and, over time, reach the brink of a nuclear breakout’ — is unfounded,” USA Today said in its editorial.
“His own intelligence chiefs say Tehran has honoured an agreement that extended Iran’s ‘breakou’ time for building a nuclear weapon from three months to a year. The deal, which eased sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, was working. But Trump never liked the agreement, saying so loudly during his election campaign and since. For him, that was enough reason for ignoring the pleas of European allies and disrupting unusually intrusive nuclear inspections. The announcement followed Trump’s ill-considered decisions last year to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord and a Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade. Imagine if average Americans conducted their personal lives as capriciously as the president conducts foreign policy. It’s as though you bought a car, decided after the fact that you didn’t like the color or the gas mileage, tore up the sales agreement, and walked away from the remaining payments. Would anyone trust selling you another vehicle?” it argued.
According to a Washington Post editorial, “The nuclear deal was far from perfect, but Trump’s decision to abrogate it over the opposition of our European allies and without a clear strategy for replacing it is reckless and, most likely, self-defeating. Trump has opened a rift with Britain, Germany and France, who were partners to the pact along with Russia and China, and he has handed Iran’s Islamic regime some unfortunate opportunities. In a bombastic address, he claimed ‘we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement’. What he did not acknowledge is that international inspectors as well as senior members of his own administration have confirmed that Iran has complied with the accord, which has vastly reduced its stock of enriched uranium and made it extremely difficult for the regime to develop nuclear weapons in the next decade. He held out the prospect of ‘a new and lasting deal’ that would cover not just nukes but also Iran’s development of missiles and interventions in Middle Eastern wars, but he offered no roadmap for achieving that ambitious goal.”
Experts say the decision could isolate the US from its European partners. European governments, which have said they will not renounce the nuclear deal, may fight any US attempt to enforce the restrictions, including with their own sanctions. Having tried and failed to satisfy Trump’s objections to the agreement without breaking it, they are unlikely to willingly collaborate in a new US attempt to crush the Iranian economy. Iran and European governments could also agree to continue the pact, in defiance of the US. It could also compel Iran to resume uranium enrichment, restrict inspections and expedite efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The US will have to start a full-fledged war with Iran to stop it from making nuclear weapons. Knowing that military action against Iran could be risky, the US had signed the deal with Iran. It has no other option again. It will trigger World War III, if it attacks Iran.