Army veteran and former State Representative Ricardo Rangel issued the following statement on President Trump’s Iran Deal:
This week, President Trump undid yet another of President Obama’s accomplishments—and once again, in doing so, has left us less safe and without a plan.
The Iran Deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was the result of years of sensitive negotiations and American diplomatic leadership. With tough sanctions from partners around the world, we brought Iran to the negotiating table and achieved real concessions: centrifuges dismantled, nuclear material shipped abroad, and an intrusive inspections regime that watched Iran’s uranium from the mines to the laboratories.
But the president doesn’t seem to much care about that progress. In discussing the deal, he gets basic facts wrong, repeats long-debunked myths, and rarely goes into detail. What he does care about is going against the flow—defying his military advisors, undoing the work of the previous administration, and thumbing his nose at our allies in Europe.
Unfortunately, there will be consequences for his ignorance and stubbornness.
For one think, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany—as well as Russia and China—are sticking with the deal. They’ll continue limited economic engagement with Iran while we sit on the sidelines, putting old sanctions in place that will do nothing to challenge Tehran on its own. If the president carries out his threat to sanction those who do business with Iran, he may even end up hitting our own allies. What a benefit to Russia that would be, to see NATO nations acting at cross economic and security purposes.
Other countries are watching the Trump Administration’s behavior nervously, too. Saudi Arabia is threatening to build a nuclear weapon if Iran restarts its nuclear program—and with the crown prince in Riyadh bragging freely that he has Jared Kushner in his pocket, what will the administration do to stop them? Meanwhile, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un just got a big warning flag: He may be less likely to give any nuclear concessions now that he knows the United States will freely go back on our word just a few weeks later.
But the most dangerous consequence outweighs all these others by far. For now, the Iran Deal will continue on with all parties but the United States. But should it collapse entirely, Iran will suddenly have no limits on its nuclear program, no inspections to keep it in check, and no incentive not to rush for a bomb. Should that happen, we could be looking at a war in the Middle East far worse than Iraq—a war that the United States would be blamed for, and almost certainly participate in.
President Trump loves to rile up the Democrats and play to his base at home, but time and again—Paris, the Muslim ban, the border wall, and beyond—he fails to realize that the world is watching his actions, too. IN withdrawing from the Iran Deal with no apparent plan forward, he has made this country less safe and brought us closer to war. For now, all we can hope is that our allies and partners are willing to keep doing the hard diplomatic work while we sit on the sidelines.