The president’s refusal to certify an accord his own defense secretary, James Mattis, says Iran is upholding, and is in the American national interest, would send a strong signal that the United States has become a bait-and-switch power whose word is worthless.It’s America’s word as solemn gage that has underwritten global security since 1945. Goodbye to all that.
Trump claims that the accord was a lousy deal. Cohen writes that it never promised an ideal outcome, but it was negotiated when both parties had their eyes wide open:
Iran’s nuclear program was pitched into reverse by the agreement after a decade of rapid development. The number of centrifuges was slashed. Iran’s uranium stockpile was all but eliminated; enrichment levels are capped at 3.7 percent, a long way from bomb grade; outside inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency is rigorous. The IAEA, like Mattis, has found that Iran is in compliance.Would it have been nice if Iran had been persuaded to dismantle its nuclear program and its scientists induced to consign their mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle to amnesiac oblivion? Sure. Dream on. Diplomacy takes place in the real world, as those mouthing off about North Korean nuclear dismantlement will discover. It involves trade-offs equally painful for both sides that produce an imperfect outcome better than the alternative.
Throughout his entire life, Trump has never had his eyes wide open. It has been reported that when Steve Bannon warned Trump that he could be removed under the 25th Amendment, Trump's response was, "What's that?"
Not the sharpest tool in the shed.