Trump’s top defense, political advisers oppose scrapping Iran nuclear deal

Sputnik – As the situation around the decision of the US President on the Iran nuclear deal gains momentum, University of Minnesota Professor of Anthropology and Middle East historian William Beema and Center for Peace & Democracy Director Ivan Eland told Sputnik in an interview what could be behind Trump’s steps, and their possible consequences.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump remains determined to destroy the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the nuclear agreement with Iran, even though his own senior officials have urged him to retain it and he has no real strategy to replace it, political analysts told Sputnik.

On Monday, Trump said the United States might unilaterally withdraw the United Statesfrom the nuclear agreement despite the other P5+1 signatory nations reaffirming their commitment to the JCPOA and confirming Iran’s compliance with it.

Trump Didn’t Think Through the Dangers of Scrapping the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Numerous observers have said the rules of the 2015 nuclear agreement are being followed by the Tehran government, but some go further by claiming Trump did not think through the consequences of withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA.

“Trump has given zero thought to what would then transpire,” University of Minnesota Professor of Anthropology and Middle East historian William Beeman told Sputnik. “American policymakers, even his own military and political advisers are completely opposed to this action.”

Beeman, author of “The ‘Great Satan’ vs. the ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other,” said Trump had acted recklessly in threatening to destroy the nuclear agreement given that the United States cannot win if engaged in a potential conflict with Iran.

“There is no indication that he has thought this through. His military advisers have told him that the United States could never win a war with Iran,” he said.

Trump was alone in imagining that he could force the Iranians to renegotiate the nuclear agreement from scratch, Beeman remarked.

“But that is the President we have — a thoughtless, ignorant man whose own ego is more important than our national reputation, or the stability of the Middle East,” he said.

Trump lacked any serious plan or long-term strategy to deal with Iran and had nothing credible to replace the nuclear agreement with, Beeman claimed.

Trump “promised to ‘tear up’ the JCPOA as a candidate and has been furious that he has had no means to cancel it,” Beeman recalled.

The US President now believes that the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 provided him with a clever way to carry out his campaign promise without actually withdrawing from the nuclear agreement, Beeman explained.

Nevertheless, Trump “has no basis for declaring the Iranians out of compliance with the JCPOA (in fact he was forced to declare the Iranians in compliance last month), but he could ‘decertifiy’ the act by declaring that it was not in the interest of United States foreign policy,” he said.

Trump had no factual justification for making that claim against Tehran, Beeman warned, saying that the President’s statement had been based on “actually nothing.”

Trump did not appear to either want a war with Iran personally nor did he believe that he was provoking the Iranians into a possibly dangerous response to his actions, Beeman explained.

However, Beeman added that he did not believe Trump’s moves would set off any full-scale conflict.

If, as expected, none of those other parties are willing to re-impose sanctions, Iran could ignore US criticisms and expand its trade and investment ties with other nations, Beeman advised.

Trump’s Heated Rhetoric May Lead to Miscalculation, Middle East Conflict

“Trump’s overheated rhetoric and actions toward Iran seem to be directed in getting a better deal. I don’t think he thinks the war will occur, but his hostility toward the nuclear agreement could make one happen anyway,” Center for Peace & Democracy Director Ivan Eland said.

Trump could stumble into a full-scale Middle East conflict by miscalculation, Eland warned.

Or the President could “paint himself into a corner in which he has to take military action or lose face,” he said.

Last week, Trump announced the US administration’s decision not to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.