Democrats’ grand plan to contain Iran? Just beat Trump

Yet through all the official appearances and side events, few candidates even said the word “Iran,” let alone explain what they’d do about the tensions between the two countries beyond trying to get Trump out of office. “No one knows what happens next, including Donald Trump, but it’s a dangerous time for America and for the world,” Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren told me on Friday evening, after she’d popped into the World of Beer, a local bar, for a brief speech to the Young Democrats of South Carolina. But the speech she’d just given, and the rest of the primary campaign, hasn’t been about that, I pointed out to her, before she pushed back: “It is, ultimately,” Warren said. “It’s about the chaos, and the fact that he thinks this country should run for his own personal benefit, and hate should be normalized.” Warren added that she believes Trump has “marched this country to the edge of war.”…

When asked for their own approach to Iran, the candidates I spoke with all landed on the same optimistic generalities: They’d rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, pursue alliances, and prioritize diplomacy. In a race haunted by the assumption—in international relations, at least—that there’s a way of turning back the clock to a pre-Trump order, the situation in Iran is like a blister, reminding the world that the friction isn’t just going to go away.

Imagine, I said to a few of the candidates: Tomorrow morning, you’re president—what do you do on Iran?