Blair Bess, 10/11/2017 [Archive]

Trump Pushing a Bad Deal on Iran

Trump Pushing a Bad Deal on Iran

By Blair Bess


We have yet to see clear evidence of the president's artistry as a dealmaker.

To date, Trump failed to cut any deal on health care or immigration reform. He may yet endure another failure should a tax plan be brought to a vote on the Senate floor next week. A more looming negotiation "tactic" is even closer on the horizon: the decision as to whether he will decertify the comprehensive Iran nuclear agreement, thus opening the door for Congress to impose new, tougher sanctions on Iran.

The president is less the dealmaker he believes himself to be, more a blue-sky kind of a guy. Like an adult ADHD patient off his meds, ideas pop into his head rapid fire. Unable to process them logically, he makes bellicose pronouncements via Twitter or in five second sound bites unleashed on the fly. While they may play well with the president's base, they have all the weight of empty thought balloons. He leaves it to his advisors and cabinet to fill in the blanks in hopes they will give his declarations any heft.

If the president truly wishes to put America first and make it great again, he will cast aside the need to take one more opportunity to slam the legislative agenda and policies of his predecessor and think about the consequences of his words and actions. There is a great deal at stake. The United States is not the only signatory to the Iran Nuclear agreement. We were joined by some of our closest allies, including England, France, and Germany, in addition to our oft-time nemeses, the Russian Federation and China.

It is highly doubtful that any, or all, of these partners to the agreement will go along with the president's decision to withdraw. Doing so is not in their nations' best interests, which are increasingly at odds with those of the president's. By going it alone the United States is becoming increasingly isolated and irrelevant, and the gap between what our leadership position once was and now is wider.

The world convinced the Iranians that it was in everyone's best interests to sign a nuclear agreement. Iran put in effect a moratorium on developing nuclear arms and gave up its uranium enrichment capabilities and stockpiles in exchange for lifting of sanctions and the opportunity to rejoin the world's economy. This was not "the worst deal ever" as the president insists. As is the case with any negotiated settlement, there were wins and losses on both sides. But granting Iran the ability to reenter the free market was a win-win for everyone involved.

Almost immediately upon signing the nuclear agreement, major U.S. corporations reached out to Iran to reestablish business ties; Boeing entered a contract to sell $3 billion in jets to an Iranian airline. How does an agreement like that hurt U.S. companies - those needed to make America great again?

The Iranians need access to world markets. If this administration shuns them, there is no doubt they will reach accords with European industries at more favorable terms.

In the last year, Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement to develop two Iranian oil facilities; two Iranian airlines entered prospective deals with the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Under terms of the Iranian agreement, the U.S. needed to give its approval for the Airbus deal to proceed. By not being party to the nuclear agreement, our blessing would be nothing more than a worthless appeal to empty skies.

Should we continue down the path the president is leading us and accept his ambiguous promises to renegotiate the Iran agreement under "better" terms, the United States will be nothing more than one nation alone, first in rhetoric, and last in logic.

Standing united as a democratic front against more oppressive regimes is of great import to our friends and allies, yet it is hard to imagine they will remain idle as the president takes a step back and relinquishes the part we as a nation have long played and coveted. While they may do so reluctantly, our closest international partners will inevitably come out of the wings and take center stage, thus leaving the U.S. to assume a new, unfamiliar role: that of understudy.

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© Copyright 2017 Blair Bess distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Blair Bess is a Los Angeles-based television writer, producer, and columnist. He edits the online blog Soaggragated.com, and can be reached at BBess.soaggragated@gmail.com.

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