Grind for May 11th, 2018
“Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Trump pulls US out of Iran deal
President Trump on Tuesday announced the United States would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran (known as the JCPOA) and reinstate nuclear sanctions.
“It is clear to me that we cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement,” said Trump. “The Iran deal is defective at its core. If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen.”
Trump has repeatedly blasted the JCPOA as the worst deal ever negotiated and has been vowing to end it since his days on the campaign trail.
This is what we know so far, Trump hates the deal because he believes:
– The deal gave billions of dollars to an “evil” regime
– The deal does not address Iran’s other nefarious activities, including missile development, proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, and funding of terrorism
– The deal’s restrictions on uranium enrichment end in 2025
– The deal’s rules on inspections benefit Iran
– The deal is one of Obama’s key legacies
Trump also believes Iran violated the deal despite opposing claims from US intelligence agencies, the IAEA, and the JCPOA’s other signatories.
Everyone agrees Iran should never possess a nuclear weapon, but what we can’t seem to agree on is how to prevent it from happening.
World leaders in recent months warned Trump that exiting the JCPOA would give Iran the perfect excuse to resume uranium enrichment and pursue nuclear development, while Trump insists the deal gave Iran more opportunities to pursue these goals.
World leaders also insisted that the inspections allowed by the JCPOA enabled us to monitor Iran and that in destroying the deal we will have no way of finding out what they are up to.
Trump on Tuesday said he would be willing to negotiate a new deal with Iran but knows Iran will refuse. Tehran had already promised to resume uranium enrichment and to exit the deal if the United States pulled out.
Proceed With Caution
Israel claims Iran is preparing to attack
Last weekend, Israeli media claimed Iran was preparing to use its proxies in Syria to launch a missile strike against military targets in northern Israel.
The would-be attack follows an airstrike in Syria that killed a handful of Iranian personnel on April 9th. Iran blames Israel for the attack, and tensions between the two countries were already strained following the incursion of an armed Iranian drone into northern Israel in February.
Israel is ready for “every scenario,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. “We don’t want confrontation, but if there needs to be one, it is better now than later.”
Israeli defense systems are more than capable of dealing with a missile attack, but officials have threatened to respond to any strike on Israeli soil by hitting every Iranian target in Syria.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz even suggested a strike on Israel could result in the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “If Assad allows Iran to turn Syria into a military vanguard against us…he should know that would be the end of him, the end of his regime.”
Any attack launched from Syria would implicate Russian President Vladimir Putin, who would not attack a US ally over such a small provocation.
Israel’s decision to publicize intelligence about the imminent attack could be enough to avoid or at least postpone it, and Netanyahu on Wednesday will visit Moscow to speak with Putin about the situation.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… According to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Shu general Zhuge Liang had to defend a town with a mere 100 troops against an army of 150,000. He hid his men, flung open the gates, and sat on the walls playing a lute. The opposing general of Wei, Sima Yi, certain it was a trap, ordered a retreat.