Decisions on foreign policy in this administration sometimes start out with fiery rhetoric, and end with sanctions. Or tariffs.
Remember the announcement that we were pulling our troops out of Syria? That was walked back.
Then, remember the declaration that North Korea was ending its nuclear weapons program? That didn’t happen. They even tested another missile to drive home the point. We went from hearing nicknames like “little rocket man” and threats about “fire and fury” to hearing how “we’re in love.”
Yup, it’s hard to know where we stand with regard to a war with Iran.
Let’s take a look.
We’re heading toward war with Iran.
the withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal
We unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal that forced Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program in return for a lifting of crippling economic sanctions. The other nations that were co-signers of the deal remained in the agreement. Since then, Iran’s been more aggressive in the Gulf, with multiple attacks on oil tankers.
This weekend’s attack on the Saudi oil facilities is the most destructive act so far.
more sanctions, more misery for Iran
The US increased sanctions on Iran, with the hopes that the economic pressure would bring Iran back to the table to talk about their nuclear program. This “maximum pressure” campaign so far has resulted in increased violence and terrorism in the region.
Iranian President Rouhani refuses to meet with President Trump
President Trump has offered to meet with Rouhani for nearly a year, even without “preconcessions” or stipulations prior to the meeting. Rouhani has declined all offers.
Iran resumes nuclear program
Iran announced it resumed its nuclear program in violation of its agreement with the countries that remain in the Deal.
President Trump described the US as being “locked and loaded” and awaiting Saudi Arabia’s decision on how to proceed.
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
We won’t go to war with Iran.
Trump’s not feeling it
President Trump’s policy toward Iran (and other countries) has been provocative but he seems to favor negotiation over military intervention. Whether or not Iran will talk remains to be seen.
John Bolton was fired
Bolton was the chief architect of the “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran, and his firing might be a signal to the Iranians that President Trump is open to moving on from the campaign.
Iran would be difficult to invade
They have a fully formed and committed military with long-range missiles and defense systems. They have allies, including Syria, Lebanon and Russia. Also, Iran has 83 million people and 617,000 square miles. By comparison, in 2003, when we invaded Iraq, it had 30 million people and 170,000 square miles.