After Obama’s Iran Deal

from The Wall Street Journal,

Trump can exit because Obama never built U.S. support for the pact.

President Trump on Tuesday withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, rightly calling it “defective at its core.” Yet he also offered Iran a chance to negotiate a better deal if it truly doesn’t want a nuclear weapon. Mr. Trump’s challenge now is to build a strategy and alliances to contain Iran until it accepts the crucial constraints that Barack Obama refused to impose. The Obama Administration spent years negotiating a lopsided pact that gave Tehran $100 billion of sanctions relief and a chance to revive its nuclear-weapons program after a 15-year waiting period. Instead of cutting off “all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb” as Mr. Obama claimed, the deal delayed the country’s entry into the nuclear club and gave the mullahs cash to fund their Middle East adventurism.

Mr. Obama ... made it easier for Mr. Trump by never winning domestic support for the deal. He refused to submit it for Senate approval as a treaty, which would have had the force of law. Mr. Trump is walking away from Mr. Obama’s personal commitment to Iran, not an American commitment. But this is also a warning to Mr. Trump that his Administration has more work to do to execute his Iran strategy. This means building bipartisan support in Congress for sanctions; diplomacy to deter Iran’s adventures in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East; and more diplomacy with Europe to fix the nuclear deal’s fatal weaknesses. Perhaps the best part of Mr. Trump’s remarks came at the end when he spoke to “the long-suffering people of Iran.” He said “the people of America stand with you” and made the offer of better relations and a more prosperous future if their leaders will shed their destructive nuclear and imperial dreams. Political change in Tehran remains the best hope for a non-nuclear Iran.

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