…some advisers to the president argue that if they can provoke Iran into being the one to scrap the nuclear deal, it will leave the United States in a stronger position. [The New York Times]
NO ONE WAS prepared for it. So when President Trump asked Secretary Tillerson what would happen if he didn’t announce Iran’s compliance in the nuclear deal that defined Obama’s presidency, Monday turned into a scramble.
From Eli Lake at Bloomberg
In meetings with his national security cabinet, the president has never been keen on Obama’s nuclear deal. What’s more, Iran’s regional behavior has only been getting worse since his inauguration.
So just as Tillerson was preparing to inform Congress on Monday that Iran remained in compliance with what is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Trump called it off, according to administration officials. He wanted to know his options and what would happen if Tillerson didn’t make the announcement.
The short reason is CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the ever-present deconstructor, Steve Bannon, think Iran’s pulling too many shenanigans in the Middle East, and think Trump will be more powerful if Iran’s squeezed harder with sanctions.
What this means is that Secretary of Defense Mattis and national security adviser HR McMaster, along with Secretary Tillerson, are not the ones in the room carrying sway when it comes to Iran.
Obama’s Iran Deal is safe for now.
For how long?