President Trump has made up his mind on the Iran Nuclear Deal, but he has refused to inform the media as to what that decision is just yet.
Iran is clearly very active in Middle Eastern politics, from Syria and Lebanon to Yemen. As tensions were close to boiling over with Iran, the Obama administration negotiated the famous/infamous Iran Nuclear Deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
A nuclear-armed Iran would drastically shift the balance of power in the region and may tempt Saudi Arabia to become even more aggressive in their efforts to help Sunni forces in some of its proxy wars with Iran (such as the civil war in Yemen). Therefore, staving off a nuclear Iran is absolutely crucial to achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East. As the whole Middle East is so very fragile and factioned, failure to stave off a nuclear Iran could also hurt the chances of a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.
Trump has said that he’s been hearing about peace in the Middle East since he was a little boy, and has stated that “we are working very hard” to achieve this peace. “If we do it, it would be a great legacy for everybody.”
Trump seems sincere in his desire to work out peace between Israel and the Palestinians. While Trump is known to have strong sympathies with Israel, his meetings with Palestinian leaders seem very cordial, if not warm. President Abbas of the Palestinian authority even said to President Trump during today’s meeting “attests to your seriousness” to “achieve the deal of the century.”
The warmth of the Palestinians could indicate that a peace agreement is attainable during the Trump administration that could be lasting. It may also indicate, however, that the Palestinians know that they are at a disadvantage, and they are being as warm as possible to President Trump because they cannot afford to anger the US – Israel’s most powerful ally.
He’s Got The Whole Middle East In His Hands
During the Republican Presidential Primary, it was a prerequisite that all Republican candidates officially oppose the Iran Nuclear deal. It was clear that Donald Trump and Rand Paul were the most hesitant to do so, but they gave in and at least paid lip service to the Republican hawks. Trump did not, however, promise to tear up the deal on day one, as some of the Republicans did.
There’s little doubt that Republican leadership in Congress would like to end this deal. Doing so could put us on the warpath with Iran, but mainstream Republicans don’t typically fear war. Some have said that Trump ran as an outsider, but has governed like a mainstream Republican, albeit with an outsider’s rhetoric.
Lately, however, Trump has shown a willingness to shuck Republican leadership, as he has been willing to deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. This may be a sign that Trump is governing more as an independent.
While our Reality TV Host comes President keeps us in suspense, Iran watches on anxiously. Much of the Middle East watches anxiously. It’s likely that Trump will announce his intentions in the next few days, and whatever he decides with certainly have a dramatic effect on the fragile efforts towards peace in the Middle East.