Has Iran Fallen Into a Strategic Trap?
"The former administration's policies "empowered Russia and Iran, produced ISIS, strengthened al-Qaeda and created the refugee crisis which became a strategic threat to Europe," according to one analyst from the BBC. These were astonishingly reinforced by the Obama nuclear deal, which not only guaranteed American nonaggression but also provided a source of money to pursue the Islamic Republic's ambitions."
Drawn on by these prospects, its grasp may now exceed its reach. Trump's repudiation of his predecessor's executive agreements and the reimposition of the sanctions probably come as a profound shock to a regime running on "resupply by appeasement." In the words of a guest editorial in the Washington Post, "Trump just accelerated Iran’s implosion. He won’t like the results." The WaPo article describes in baleful terms how the new administration's actions may bring Iran to its knees.
Trump just accelerated Iran’s implosion. He won’t like the results. The country is teetering on the edge of an economic collapse that would empower the hard-liners.
President Hassan Rouhani has already lost his base of support.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal signed with Iran and the European powers in 2015 doesn’t just make it likelier that Iran, too, will abandon the treaty and renew its push to make a bomb. It could also determine if the social unrest sweeping the Islamic Republic deepens and further destabilizes the regime. The government is facing perhaps its greatest opposition nationwide since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Trump’s decision will change how that story plays out in ways that will further destabilize the regime while giving conservatives more power for now.
While some might argue an Islamic Republic implosion is actually a feature, not a bug, the article fails to consider the obvious alternative to collapse. The regime can abandon its expansionary ambitions and devote its resources to economic development within its own borders. Retreat will bring relief. Limitations on Israel's manpower and power projection capabilities mean that it probably could not pursue."
This is all true, but this recitation omits the fact that these people negotiated and signed a deal with Obama who never intended to send the agreement to the Senate for advice and consent and recently met once again with Kerry. How intelligent can they be?
This is an interesting theory that the Iranian retreat and economic decline could result in a significant reduction in violence in the region since Iran would be less able to foment such violence.
Before Trump, I was completely antagonistic to any but short-term sanctions. The long-term variant never worked but created nations like Cuba, North Korea, and Iran, nations willing to do anything to hurt America or the West. I don't see Trump interested or engaging in long-term sanctions. He will use them as battlespace preparation for the negotiation.
With Trump in the Presidency, I am willing to let this ride. I expect that Trump will turn this problem into a success.