Critics of Trump also cannot be allowed to engage in disingenuity. The president has been accused of stoking tensions through his pressure campaign and by abrogating the Iran nuke deal. There’s no question Trump might’ve overplayed his hand, when a containment strategy wasn’t only preferable, but quite appropriate for the threat Iran actually poses to the United States. But Trump’s critics are kidding themselves if they believe the nuke deal was the difference between peace and war with the Islamic Republic.
If the events of the new year prove anything, it’s that the United States and Iran will never see eye-to-eye on a wide range of issues. There are too many flashpoints, Iraq included, where the two countries would’ve eventually collided.
Furthermore, the deal never addressed Iran’s overall behavior and its latent anti-Americanism, a showstopper to any peace overture from the United States. Supporters of the deal dismiss such concerns by insisting the deal was never meant to solve all problems between Washington and Tehran, but ensuring Iran never obtains nuclear weapons nor impedes U.S. interests in the region requires improved relations. The idea that a narrowly focused agreement between the Obama administration and President Hassan Rouhani (not the supreme leader) could set the countries up for peaceful relations is as fallacious as demanding and receiving capitulation.