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Gresik: Trump dumps Iran nuclear deal, benefits US negotiations with North Korea

Dylan Gresik, Op-Ed Contributor

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Earlier this week, President Donald Trump announced the United States withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran nuclear deal. The U.S. will benefit in upcoming negotiations with Kim Jong Un and North Korea because of the president’s decision.

The Iran nuclear deal, a much-celebrated foreign policy accomplishment of the Obama administration, was flawed from the beginning. Its removal has realigned the United States on a stronger and safer foreign policy path. Touted as a compromise with moderates within the Iranian government, the deal had shortcomings within its details. “(The agreement) gives Iran up to 24 days to move, hide or destroy materials sought by inspectors. This is far from a foolproof system, particularly in light of Iran’s long history of cheating,” James Phillips, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, wrote in 2015. “Ultimately the Iranian economy would be boosted by tens of billions of dollars more through a surge of oil revenues as oil sanctions are lifted.”

The idea that any regime that burns the American flag and chants “Death to America” on the floors of its parliament, like members of the Iran government did, should receive American aid and economic benefits is ridiculous. And, the belief that such a government would be partial to upholding its end of any deal is even more ludicrous. In fact, as recent intelligence gathered by Israeli forces has shown, Iran has not conveyed its true motivations in signing such a deal.

Iran continues to engage in state-sponsored terrorism campaigns throughout the Middle East, destabilizing the region through its meddling in other countries and backing of dangerous militia groups. To ignore the seriousness of these activities while continuing to directly fund the mullahs and take their word at face value is dangerous and undermines American foreign policy aims.

Recent developments have reiterated the militant activity of Iran. They continue to aggressively pursue the elimination of the Jewish state of Israel — launching 20 missiles toward the Israeli-held Golan Heights on the Syrian border Wednesday. Iranian militias operate freely within Syria, intensifying the strife of the civil war there, and Iranian support for rebel groups on the Arabian Peninsula has undermined the security realities of key U.S. allies.

So, how does all this affect the situation with North Korea?

The scrapping of the nuclear deal has far-reaching implications for America’s diplomatic initiatives across the globe. Contrary to the hysteria emanating from the Obama camp — like from Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, who said Trump’s decision “has demolished America’s credibility” and has “isolated the US and rallied the world around Iran” — these implications are positive.

To the Kim regime in North Korea, the president has signaled that, unlike his predecessor who seemed like he wanted to reach a deal no matter the details, Trump will not just sign a deal to sign one. The president said in his announcement, “Today’s action sends a critical message: The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them.”

Whereas Obama opted to sign an unpopular deal that lacked the proper support in Congress, Trump should learn from the mistake of his predecessor in avoiding signing any potential agreement that does not garner congressional support and affirmation following his meeting with Kim in Singapore on June 12. Signing a deal to ensure the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is important, but only if it does not fall trap to the shortcomings found in the JCPOA.

Overall, this week has been a winning one for the Trump Administration. The president’s nominee to lead the CIA, Gina Haspel, appeared strong in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee while gaining the support of a bipartisan collection of former agency officials. Several senior leaders of the Islamic State were captured in a joint U.S.-Iraqi sting operation — an exclamation point to the U.S.-led decimation of ISIS since Trump took office. In a remarkable breakthrough in diplomacy, and sign of good intentions for further negotiations, three American hostages were returned from North Korea with an escort from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And finally, President Trump remained true to his word to tear up the Iran deal, signaling to North Korea and any other rogue regime that this president will not bend to dictators nor sign deals simply to contribute to his legacy.

Dylan Gresik is a Medill sophomore. He can be contacted at dylangresik2020@u.northwestern.edu. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to opinion@dailynorthwestern.com. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.

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