By Jackson Richman
President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday afternoon the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, the worst accord made since the Munich Agreement in 1938.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday:
President Trump told President Emmanuel Macron of France on Tuesday morning that he plans to announce the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, according to a person briefed on the conversation.
Mr. Trump’s decision unravels the signature foreign policy achievement of his predecessor, Barack Obama, isolating the United States among its allies and leaving it at even greater odds with its adversaries in dealing with the Iranians.
The United States is preparing to reinstate all sanctions it had waived as part of the nuclear accord — and impose additional economic penalties as well, the person said.
Although Trump may be no Churchill, the president is about to do something the latter’s predecessor could not: Confront the enemy.
Instead of confronting Adolf Hitler, to whom Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman compared to Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, Neville Chamberlain instead appeased the German genocidal leader.
The Munich Agreement between Chamberlain (and allies like France) and Hitler allowed the latter to keep control over Austria and the Sudetenland in exchange for not conquering the rest of Czechoslovakia. Unsurprisingly, Hitler didn’t keep his promise.
And, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Under the 2015 accord, Iran was required to reduce its nuclear stockpiles and centrifuges, among other provisions, with “sunset clauses” after a decade which would lift all restrictions on the regime’s nuclear program and remove all sanctions against it, which would allow the nuclear initiative to only proliferate. Trump has been concerned about the sunset clauses.
Unsurprisingly, Iran hasn’t maintained the agreement.
Additionally, the sanctions relief under the deal totaled around $150 billion, which Iran used to support its proxies like genocidal President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza. All of them present a threat to America’s closest Mideast ally, Israel, and the rest of the world.
While it remains to be seen how the administration plans to combat Iran’s aggression in Syria, withdrawing from the deal is a step in the right direction. Reimposing the sanctions lifted under the deal along with slapping additionally sanctions should only lessen Iran’s access to capital to maintain its role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Chamberlain could not even regret the 1938 deal, let alone, undo its damage.
In 2015, with the fear of history repeating itself, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Congress and said, “Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, any more than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem. The 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis were but a fraction of the 60 million people killed in World War II. So, too, Iran’s regime poses a grave threat, not only to Israel, but also the peace of the entire world.”
Netanyahu’s language mirrored Churchill’s 1940 speech to the UK’s House of Commons, known as “We Shall Fight on the Beaches.” Churchill warned of great military disaster and of a possible Nazi invasion.
One month before the “Beaches” speech, Churchill declared the goal of defeating Germany even if the United Kingdom had to fight alone “however long and hard the road may be.” In his congressional address, though Netanyahu acknowledged that the U.S. stands with Israel, “Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”
Luckily, under Trump and Netanyahu’s friendship, Israel likely won’t have to stand alone.
Moreover, North Korea might want to take notes on this upcoming move in advance of scheduled talks between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un this month or in early June regarding its nuclear ambitions.
To learn from that dangerous time during the 20th century will hopefully only enable a better future in standing up to today’s greatest geopolitical threats.