Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, laid out a path on Tuesday for the United States to withdraw from its 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in a manner similar to the administration’s handling of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Trump has announced a phase-out of the Obama-era program, calling on Congress to protect young immigrants as part of a broader immigration reform law. As with DACA, ending the Iran deal would be a controversial move even among Republicans, so rather than biting the bullet one way or another, Trump could pass the buck to Congress, hoping it’ll settle the issue. Politico reports:
Haley said that, should Trump not certify Iranian compliance, he may choose to leave the decision on whether to quit the deal to Congress. That was a surprising suggestion, given that the nuclear agreement is not a formal treaty and therefore does not require Congress’s approval.
This is a move fraught with danger, not only for the Middle East but America’s wider position in the world. In her speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Haley said, “This is about US national security. This is not about European security.” In point of fact, the Iran deal deeply interests the Europeans, who are far more likely to be targeted by nuclear weapons from Iran than America is. The Iran deal was made not just between the Obama administration and Iran but also with China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The other signatories would, quite properly, resent a unilateral American withdrawal. The U.S. would face not just a hostile Iran, which would be newly free to pursue a nuclear program, but angry allies who would now have good reason to distrust it.