Trump Needs the Iran Nuclear Deal Too Much to Kill It

Trump Needs the Iran Nuclear Deal Too Much to Kill It
An Iranian woman holds up a caricature of U.S. President Donald Trump tearing a document during a rally marking the 39th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, 2018 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

It is no small irony that the Iran nuclear deal painstakingly negotiated by the administration of Barack “No Drama” Obama has become a perfectly designed prop in the collective psychodrama otherwise known as U.S. foreign policy under President Donald Trump. Thanks to the conditions imposed by the U.S. Congress at the time of its adoption in 2015, the agreement has a built-in cliffhanger every 120 days, when the president must decide whether or not to reimpose unilateral sanctions that were only waived, not lifted, in return for the rigorous constraints placed on Iran’s nuclear program.

In a little over a month, the latest 120-day period comes to an end, and speculation has already begun over whether or not Trump will withdraw from the deal, as he has repeatedly threatened to do if it is not renegotiated to his satisfaction. According to the conventional wisdom, the deal’s days are numbered even if it survives the upcoming May 12 deadline, due to the appointment of Iran hawks Mike Pompeo and John Bolton as secretary of state and national security adviser, respectively. Meanwhile, frantic efforts by France, the United Kingdom and Germany to address Trump’s concerns have sputtered.

Perhaps the only thing working in the deal’s favor these days is the drama cooked into its congressionally mandated review period, which almost certainly appeals to Trump’s sense of theater.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.