Based on remarks President Donald Trump made during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the United States could well be engaged in a war with Iran by the end of May.
Asked if he was planning to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal struck by the Obama administration, Trump was cagy, saying he had not yet decided what actions he would take in regard to the nuclear agreement, but then added:
“They will not be doing nuclear weapons, I can tell you. You can bank on it.”
Trump didn’t rule out the use of military force against Iran, commenting:
“I don’t talk about whether or not I’d use military force. It’s not appropriate to be talking about.”
The next deadline for recertifying the agreement with Iran is on May 12. If the president does indeed scrap the deal, sanctions would be implemented on Iran, and that, foreign policy experts argue, could destabilize the the country and lead to increased violence and uncertainty in the Middle East, a region already beset by an endless civil war in Syria which has claimed the lives of nearly a half million people and led to a refugee crisis.
For her part, Merkel sounded worried but vowed to continue consultations with the administration:
“It is one piece of the mosaic — one building block, if you like — on which we can build up this structure. We want to see what sort of decisions are made by our American partners.”
“I can hear. I seemed to constantly hear that he (Trump) had no serious desire to maintain or defend [the agreement.] I consider that it’s a campaign pledge he made long ago … I don’t know. Rational analysis does not lead me to think he will stay in the deal.”
If indeed Trump does choose to exit the agreement with Iran, the consequences could be dire for all involved, as the Economist recently noted:
“In a worst case Iranian hardliners could resume work on nuclear weapons, defying Mr. Trump’s threats of ‘big problems’ if they choose that course.
“In a best case, Mr. Trump could work with Europeans on side agreements that seek to limit Iranian ballistic-missile programmes, to curb Iranian meddling in the Middle East and to make permanent constraints on Iran’s nuclear-weapons development. But without the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a foundation, such side deals would stand on dangerously shaky ground.”
And the United States could find itself involved in yet another Middle Eastern war despite promises by Trump to not get the U.S. engaged in such conflicts after the long slog through both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Featured Image Via YouTube Screengrab