Trump’s artless Iran dealing

Sputnik – President Trump is reportedly waiting for the Iranians to get on the phone and start talking business to resolve the dangerous looming military crisis in the Persian Gulf.

Step One was for the US to pile on the threats of an “unrelenting” assault on the Islamic Republic. Step Two is for the US president to dangle an overture for dialogue with Tehran in order to avert war.

This week Donald Trump made a surprise announcement which appeared to knock back his hawkish White House team, declaring that he did not want the US to go to war with Iran. Instead, he said he hoped the Iranian leadership would engage in diplomatic talks.

That’s something of a turnaround, given that Trump has in the past heaped scorn on Iran as a “terrorist regime” and has pushed a policy of “maximum pressure” to throttle the country’s oil exports.

What we’re seeing here is not so much Trump exercising restraint on war hawks John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. It’s more a transparent case of the president using his dubious skills of property dealing to achieve policy objective. The former real estate mogul is the supposed co-author of a best-selling book, ‘The Art of the Deal’, in which he sets out his “genius” for commercial success.
There’s not much art to it really. Trump’s business success, which many people doubt as being real, seems to have revolved around buying low, selling high – and screw as many people as you can along the way.

This may be why he steadfastly refuses to provide his tax returns for public inspection.

Trump seems to be applying that business formula to his dealings with Iran. There’s also echoes of it with regard to North Korea.

In the case of Iran, the White House uses the sales pitch of dangling the terror of massive military destruction combined with strangling economic lifelines. Then, it is reckoned, a little bit of reprieve as in an elusive offer of “talks” will make the Iranian “customer” get on their knees pleading concessions.

In other words, the whole military specter that the US has imposed on Iran recently is a bluff.

Trump has no intention of going to war with Iran and blowing his 2020 re-election chances. It’s only meant to be part of his “art of the deal” to coerce Tehran to the negotiating table. Trump has made no secret that he hates the 2015 international nuclear accord with Iran signed by the Obama administration. He unilaterally cancelled US participation and wants Iran to renegotiate it, presumably to yield bigger concessions on nuclear and ballistic missile restrictions.

The trouble is that flogging properties in New York is not the same as international relations. Trump may have gotten his way by browbeating and cheating in real estate business, but that don’t work in dealing with sovereign nations, especially one as strong and as proud as Iran.
Trump is out of his depth.

Wheeling and dealing does not appreciate history, international law and moral principle. How many times have we heard Trump bragging about “the deal of the century” with regard to solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula? Yet, Trump’s braggadocio always falls on its face. Because treating sensitive, complicated historical problems like selling condos doesn’t work.

So too with Iran. Trump seems to think that by threatening Iran, it will just roll over with a little inducement.

It’s not going to happen. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has adamantly said there will be no negotiations with the US over the nuclear accord, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It took several years of tortuous negotiations for that accord to be finalized in July 2015. It was signed off by the US, Iran, Russia, China and the European Union, and later ratified by the UN Security Council.

Iran made unprecedented concessions on its sovereign rights to nuclear power to enable the accord. It has also implemented its commitments flawlessly over the past four years, according to UN nuclear inspectors who are given unparalleled intrusive access to Iran’s defense facilities.
Trump’s accusations against Iran of not complying with the JCPOA and of misusing finances to sponsor terrorism are based on the paranoid, hypocritical fantasies of Israeli and Saudi enemies of Iran.

The way forward is for all signatories to the nuclear accord to abide by it, as Russia and China have both advocated.

That means the Europeans in particular putting their money where their mouths are to implement legitimate business with Iran while repudiating American intimidation with sanctions. It also means the US sometime in the future respecting an international treaty which it signed up to.

Trump seems to have a deluded sense of his own prowess. Some investigations have found that as a business magnate he actually lost more money (over $1 billion) than he ever supposedly made. Mr Trumpery President is not so much Artist of the Deal, as the Con-artist.

His over-rated business acumen is being exposed like never before with regard to Iran.

The abominable thing is, however, that the buffoonish and criminal tactics of using military aggression as a negotiating tool may end up razing swathes of the Middle East, killing countless innocents, and ultimately bringing the entire US house of cards crashing down. So much for Trump the “business genius”.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.