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Why Trump will be proved right on Iran

Off the track

Why Trump will be proved right on Iran

US President Donald Trump will be the center of attention at the UN General Assembly this week. Just as he was last year, he is expected to be “undiplomatic” in criticizing foes and allies on many issues: Trade, defense strategies, counter-terrorism, and non-proliferation and denuclearization, among others. But, while he will not lambast North Korea, as he did last year, he will focus on Iran; especially his decision earlier this year to unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear agreement that was meticulously negotiated by his predecessor, as well as Tehran’s regional meddling and its sponsorship of terror. Trump’s view of the world is different from that of previous administrations. He appears at the UN podium as a leader who has rattled his closest allies and partners over defense spending, foreign policy, trade, immigration, Iran and military alliances. His views and positions on many foreign policy issues are in contrast with those of America’s closest allies. Certainly, he has taken the side of the Israeli far right in dealing with the thorny Arab-Israeli conflict. He has punished the Palestinians while claiming that he will unveil a plan that will end decades of hostilities and hardship. No ally of the US has endorsed his departure from the two-state solution. But, when it comes to Iran, Trump may turn out to be on the right side of history, despite the widening gap that separates him from his European partners. There is no doubt that the nuclear deal that was adopted in 2015 was the result of years of secret and open negotiations and that it delivered what was then the best possible outcome. As it has turned out, Tehran did abide by the agreement, according to international and even Trump’s own experts. But, crucially, it did nothing to contain Iran’s regional ambitions, its support of terrorist groups and its ballistic activities. Crucially, the nuclear deal did nothing to contain Iran’s regional ambitions, its support of terrorist groups and its ballistic activities Today the region is in turmoil and Iran is largely responsible for this. One can point to Iraq and its dysfunctional political system due to brazen Iranian meddling in its affairs. Tehran-backed militias have become a major player in Iraqi politics and have deepened the sectarian divide that has unraveled the fabric of Iraqi society. As Iraqi politicians quibble over positions and benefits, the country continues to sink into a quagmire of corruption and mismanagement.

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