Trump’s Dangerous Shift on Iran

How It Sets the U.S. on a Path Toward Isolation and Confrontation

U.S. President Donald Trump denounces the Iran Deal in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Washington, D.C., October 13, 2017. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

On Friday, the United States reached a turning point in its relations with Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump forcefully denounced the Islamic Republic in a highly confrontational speech, threatening to upend the nuclear deal unless Congress amends it to make its terms more restrictive. By refusing to certify the accord, despite verification that Iran is in compliance, Trump essentially torpedoed the hard work that led to Washington’s recent opening to Tehran. His brash move, coupled with other escalatory measures—the designation of an entire branch of Iran’s military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), as a sponsor of terrorism, as well as the Trump administration’s hostile attitude and stark absence of diplomacy—will likely not only jeopardize the nuclear deal and U.S. credibility among key allies, but also put the United States on a path of escalation with Iran. This is all the more problematic given

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