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Keeping America Safe / Politics

Keep Eyes on Iran, Trump Wants New Accord

iran

Some days, news you do not read – is the real news.  Case in point:  President Trump’s handling of Iran’s belligerence with extraordinary caution, care and unblinking focus.  

Facts are riveting, and argue that the president’s team has a strategy, knows the stakes, accepts the mission, understands the objectives and is flush with options.  That does not make resolving Iran’s geopolitical conundrum – preventing an oppressive, radical Shia and objectively terrorist state from obtaining nuclear weapons – easy.

Review the timeline:  In May 2018, President Trump’s team – after studying details – concluded the Obama-era executive agreement with Iran was an elaborate bribe, hundreds of billions of US dollars buying delay of nuclear weapons.  It was also a dangerous fiction. 

The unratified accord – if left in place – would legitimize a nuclear Iran, while unenforceable, and risking a nuclear Middle East.  Trump withdrew and re-imposed “highest level” economic sanctions on Iran, seeking renegotiation.   

Said the President: “The fact is this was a horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made. It didn’t bring calm. It didn’t bring peace, and it never will.” European countries disagree, and do not re-impose sanctions.

In late May 2018, the US offered another plan:  End uranium-235 enrichment, end ballistic missile proliferation, end nuclear-capable missiles, and verify through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  The US will then end all sanctions, open full diplomatic and commercial relations.  Europe objected.

By August 2018, US sanctions were re-imposed, diplomatic overtures renewed.  They were ignored by Iran.  Iran’s central bank was cut off by the US, as Europe offered Iran economic aid.

In September, President Trump detailed Iran’s bad acts to the United Nations.  In November, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran, which remained intransigent.  Some 300 entities were named, although oil import waivers were granted to nine countries.

In February 2019, the US urged European allies to get on board with sanctions, but they continued doing business with Iran.  In March, the US imposed sanctions on entities formerly tied to nuclear weapons development.  Europe objected.   

In April, the US designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Evidence of terrorism was compelling; many thought the move overdue.  Iranian President Rouhani responded by putting new centrifuges at an enrichment site in Natanz.  Raising the sanction bar, State ended waivers for those still importing Iranian oil.

Iran’s economic decline accelerated, with inflation rising – or put differently, currency value falling.  Access to commodities was curtailed, government leaders looking after themselves. 

In May, relations took a sudden downturn.  Reports suggested Iran was preparing to strike US assets in the region.  Four tankers near UAE were damaged by explosions.  The US sent USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Battlegroup to the Arabian Gulf – as a deterrent. 

Iran announced it would repudiate limits on stockpiles of enriched uranium, unless given relief from sanctions imposed, lifted and re-imposed for Iran’s rogue nuclear weapons program.    

If you are following Iran’s logic, bad behavior got forgiven by Obama-Biden, who also paid Iran billions of dollars to delay nuclear work.  Trump said no dice, and re-imposed sanctions – until an authentic end to Iran’s nuclear weapons program is reached.  Iran doubled down, saying they were back at uranium enrichment – until America lifts sanctions. 

The US added sanctions on industrial metal exports.  Europe meantime told Iran it was uncomfortable with “ultimatums,” and politely asked Iran to “refrain” from enriching uranium. Iran announced it would quadruple uranium enrichment, surpassing limits in the accord.

In June, as before, the US made clear diplomacy was available, with “no preconditions.”  Russia defended Iran, knocking US diplomacy.  The IAEA became concerned.  Japan’s prime minister visited Iran for diplomacy but was rebuffed.

On June 13, two tankers in the Gulf were attacked.  Evidence pointed to Iran, which denied involvement.  On June 20, Iran shot down an unmanned US drone over international waters. 

Although the US retaliatory strike was minutes away, President Trump held fire – to protect 150 Iranian lives.  Instead, on June 24, sanctions were imposed on Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Over the past two weeks, Iran has remained intransigent, as UN regretted Iran’s resumption of enrichment, exceeding limits – and the IAEA confirmed the breach.  The US responded: “Maximum pressure on the Iranian regime will continue until its leaders alter their course of action” to comply with “longstanding nonproliferation standards of no enrichment ….”  

A diplomatic solution remains available.  Europe regrets Iran’s breach, and asks “full compliance by Iran.”  The US effort to spur an end to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles remains firm, incremental and unblinking.  Responses to Iran’s aggression have been restrained – some might say exceptionally restrained.  Ronald Reagan destroyed half of Iran’s navy when they mined the Arabian Gulf and sank a US ship. 

Do not expect to media credit for President Trump.  This weekend, the New York Times ran stories on Tunisia, New Zealand, Spain, Sudan, Indonesia and Italy – no Iran.  If the President had hit Iran hard that would have been news.  But reporting Trump’s diplomacy is not news.   

That said, keep your eyes on Iran, as every indication is the President Trump is keenly focused.  He wants a no-nukes accord or end to nuclear weapons development.  He is not a warmonger, but knows stakes are high.  Iran could go to weapons grade – enough for a bomb – in a few months. Iran will be more important before less, but Trump is focused on success – whether you read about it or not. 

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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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Todd Taylor

Remain steadfast Mr. President. If Iran becomes a threat to the U.S. take them on but if not do not get involved in the Middle East; all our involvement does is cost American lives to defend people who will never change.

Paul W

I pray that alternatives can be found to military intervention, but these radicals can not be allowed to possess nukes. These psychopaths have the stability of nitroglycerin.

HAL HOFFMAN

WE SHOULD HAVE LEVELED TEHRAN THE MOMENT THE EMBASSY HOSTAGES CLEARED IRANIAN AIR SPACE THE DAY REAGAN TOOK OFFICE! WE CERTAINLY HAD CAUSE ENOUGH!

Stephen Russell

Ready MOAB & naval cruise missiles from Straits of Hormuz.
Ready B52, B2 for strike from Germany, Italy?
Notify Israel.
No Games with Iran.
The new bombing range

Mark Jebe

Not all Iranians want to start Armageddon. Not all Iranians want to do us harm. Not all of them hate Israel. Nuking Tehran means killing mostly innocent people. There’s got to be a better way. Europe’s Muslim population has intimidated the EU and EU Members so much they’re afraid to participate in sanctions. But even if we have to impose sanctions on Europe to stick it to Iran, that’s the best way to go for now – squeeze them financially until their population rises up against the nuclear Mullahs and overthrows the Islamic Republic. Cuba’s been held afloat for decades by conspiratorial communist nations, but no one wants to help Iran just for the sake of helping them. Kim Jong Un and the Russians help them for money, but the Arab world hates the Persian world – Iran. If Trump can hold out a carrot to Kim we might be… Read more »

Todd Taylor

Always American interest first!

Brenda Blunt

Iran may not play nice, so let the President do his job!!

Patsy

The money Obama gave Iran could have taken America’s debt down that amount! We cannot expect any Islamic country to be generous to a notable Christian one….ever!!!

Trump Supporter

This is an excellent summary of President Trump’s efforts with Iran when there are only “crickets” from Fake News.

CHERYL FITZGERALD

Thanks for the update.
This news Americans should know.
Our President seems to be on the right path.

LauraC

Stay the course, Mr. President. The people are behind you and support your level headed, common sense approach to keeping us safe. March on!

Wayne

Make all of Iran a parking lot! Go Trump Go 2020

Bob C.

Well researched and thought out article. Didn’t see this perspective elsewhere in the media.

Greg Russell

iran is the worlds leading state sponsor of terrorism. iran has stated publicly for the entire world to hear, that they exist SOLELY to wipe Israel off the face of the map. iran cannot now, or EVER be allowed to achieve the ability to manufacture or possess a nuclear weapon. iran must become iwas…

Bob

Yeah, I know, Trump’s behavior is boring. But this situation is in the center of his wheelhouse. Negotiations, especially setting-up the other party to lose. (Sure, “Win-Win” is a nice platitude. But only if I win first and win the most.) As sure as I’m typing this the US responded to the illegal destruction of our drone. But instead of using the military we attacked in cyber space. Try to imagine the huge number of computers now sitting idle in Iran. It won’t be publicized, but the Iranians know. The message has been sent. Trump is smart to keep squeezing. Like a python he’ll just wait until they collapse. They won’t scream “Uncle!” publicly. They would lose face, then fall-out of power. Negotiations will be done quietly, first through back channels; we won’t hear about those discussions. In public they’ll continue to bellow and pontificate. But quietly they will ask… Read more »

dino

The mullahs run an evil cult.If push does come to shove the mullahs will hide their sorry asses so far underground they will have to be piped food water and sunlight and they will let the common citizens take the brunt of retaliations.They are the spawn of satan.

Ed LaPinskas

Why don’t the Iraelis step up ? They have the armaments.

R. Ashe

Let us NEVER forget that Iran’s loudest ranting chant is to remove Israel from the face of the earth (impossible to do because GOD will not let it happen) followed by “Death to America”. They can NEVER be trusted. The President must continue to stay the course, as he has shown the ability to lead with a level head. I am proud to support President Trump.

Jack Thomas

Should Iran be so arrogant as to try sabotaging another oil tanker moving through the Strait of Hormuz, or attacks any U.S. assets in the region, President Trump should definitely order a military response that’s quick, accurate, and deadly. WE NEED TO SEND A MESSAGE TO THE MULLAHS IN TEHRAN THAT WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE INTIMIDATED BY THEIR THREATS OR THEIR RECKLESS ACTIONS.

Rebecca Clark

Excellent synopsis of the Iran’s tyranny