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Trump jeopardizes global diplomacy
May 22, 2018, 1:06 pm

Much has been said about US President Donald Trump leaving the Iran deal: that this is in blatant disregard of basic rules of the international law on treaties and that this is the behavior of the bully, profoundly disrespectful towards the other partners in the treaty – France, Great-Britain, Russia, China and Germany.

And last, but not least, that this comes down to a declaration of war against Iran.

In many ways this is indeed a historical setback.

The consequences of Trump’s decision will be felt for decades to come.

When the most powerful country on earth breaks its own treaty commitments without any decent argument, it will jeopardize future attempts at settling conflicts by diplomacy.

To start with North Korea, the message there is loud and clear: “Give up your nuclear weapons and we promise to let you live in peace”. NOT.

The European Union has openly criticized his decision and even vows to protect EU-businesses against US-sanctions.

President Trump’s rudeness and total ignorance of world affairs are indeed baffling. The last president as ignorant as Trump was Ronald Reagan, but that man was happy enough to read the cue cards that his advisors prepared for him.

Not Trump, he does not follow advice, he ‘listens’ to sycophants.

Planning US dominance?

Yet, as all his predecessors since WWII, he has no doubts about the grand plan for US world dominance, the heart of all US policy since 1945.

Whether presidents personally take seriously their own lofty words of US exceptionalism, bringing freedom and democracy to the world, is not relevant, what counts are the actual policies and their concrete consequences.

This president is no different in that respect, what makes him so exceptional is that he is so openly crass and rude about it. In a perverse way, this president is surprisingly honest about his intentions and promises, in the same way that a neigbourhood bully promises to wreck your store if you disobey – or worse.

Disobedience is the real key word here. The real reason why Iran is targeted is its disobedience to the master. Iran is a ‘destabilizing’ factor in the Middle East, ‘stability’ being ‘anything or anyone who interferes with our control over the Middle East’.

Trumps behavior has already had some unexpected consequences. A few weeks ago Trumps war mongering by tweets has lead South and North Korea to unprecedented peace talks.

Trump can indeed take credit for this inter-Korean détente, not because he promoted it, quite the contrary, but because both Koreas and most of world opinion outside the US started panicking about mushroom clouds.

Maybe with Iran some similar unforeseen initiative from the EU will emerge in the coming weeks, who knows.

If not, a new war looms on the horizon in the Middle East, with a possible new refugee crisis for Europe (not for the US).

War cannot be ruled out

War against Iran is not as likely as against Libya and Syria, but not impossible with this man in the White House and John Bolton and other fanatics around him.

Iran is not a military powerhouse and 80 million Iranians may profoundly dislike their cleric regime, but they do most certainly not see the US as an honest peace broker.

A war against Iran might go the same way as in Syria: not as planned. Iranians do remember that it was the US that installed the torture regime of the shah.

They will definitely resist; a war might even give the present rulers new popularity.

Much will depend on what happens next in the US itself. Not all American business sectors are Trump followers – many fear the backlash of his crude protectionism.

Like with the blockade on Cuba, many sectors are in favour of keeping the Iran deal intact, not out of moral principles, but purely for commercial reasons.

How far will the EU really go, will it stick to empty stale words of condemnation as so many times before or will there be real decisions this time, real measures?

Because, at the end of the day, it is not the paper treaties are written on that matter, but the power and determination behind them. European companies are already withdrawing from Iran to preempt US sanctions.

So for the moment this does not forebode well. And I have not even mentioned Russia and China in all this.

No, this is definitely not good, not for the Iranian people, not for the Middle East, not for the EU, not even for the average American, not for the world.

The future remains unpredictable. Everything is still possible. With previous US presidents, that was a comforting thought. Not with this one.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the publisher's editorial policy.