Ideas. Action. Results.

What Trump Did Not Say on Iran

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Washington, D.C.– President Trump’s announcement today that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal opened questions about future U.S. strategy that were not answered when he explained his reasons for making this decision.

What will now ensue is an international blame game between Iran and the United States.

Blaise Misztal, BPC director of national security, points out several questions raised by the announcement:

  • How does his administration plan to deal with the “day after” fallout, whether in managing its relationship with European and regional partners, responding to a potential Iranian acceleration of its nuclear program, or mitigating heightened risks of conflict in the Middle East?
  • Sanctions take time to be implemented. Is the administration, as it seems, leaving open the possibility of using this period between now and when sanctions do go back into force to further push European allies to agree to common strategy for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program?
  • Prominently missing from the president’s address was any mention of whether or how his administration will deal with Iran’s wide range of regionally destabilizing activities.

“What will now ensue is an international blame game between Iran and the United States, each trying to portray the other as the unpredictable, bad-faith, rogue international actor. If President Trump is hoping for help from U.S. partners in managing the fallout, he will have to continue representing his decision as a responsible and reasonable, rather than rash, choice,” Misztal said.

“It remains unclear whether the administration wants to develop a comprehensive strategy on Iran, or whether, despite having repeatedly articulated the need for such a strategy over the last year, the president is actually not interested in pushing back on Iran beyond the nuclear deal,” he said.

VIDEO: Watch Misztal’s five takeaways from the president’s announcement.