Trump Is the Only One Losing Out by Refusing to Certify the Iran Deal
Publisher: The Unz Review
Date Written: 15/10/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21655
As President Trump withdraws certification of the nuclear agreement with Iran, commentators across the world struggled for words to adequately convey their outrage and contempt. A favourite term to describe Trump is as "a wrecking ball", but the phrase suggests a sense of direction and capacity to strike a target which Trump does not possess.
The relationship between Iran and the US has always been a complex mixture of hostility and cooperation. The antagonism dates from the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the seizure of US diplomats and embassy in Tehran, and the Iran-Iraq war. But this has also been accompanied by a high degree of de facto and often covert cooperation: since Saddam Husseins invasion of Kuwait in in 1990, Washington and Tehran have often found themselves sharing the same enemies. Tehran benefited as a regional power in 2001 when the US overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan and again in 2003 with the fall of Saddam Hussein. Iran and the US had a similar interest in preventing Isis and al-Qaeda winning in Syria or Iraq after Isis captured Mosul in 2014.
The US and its allies were always circumspect, when they were not being dishonest, about their cooperation with Tehran in Iraq. After Nouri al-Maliki was chosen as Iraqi PM in 2006, an Iraqi official called me to say that "the Great Satan", the Iranian term for the US, and "the Axis of Evil", the US term for Iran, had "come together to give us our new leader." His successor, Haider al-Abadi, also required endorsement from both Washington and Tehran.