Tehran must be convinced that continuing to support terrorist organisations by providing them with money and materials that would destabilise the region is not acceptable and that Iran would pay the price not only by the imposition of crippling sanctions, but also by risking military confrontation with the U.S..

It should be emphasised that Iran′s potential of acquiring nuclear weapons must be examined in the context of what is happening throughout the region. To that end, the U.S. should address the conflicts that involve Iran – including the wars in Yemen, Syria and Iraq – once ISIS is completely defeated. Indeed, as long as these violent struggles persist, the greater is the likelihood that Iran will pursue nuclear weapons to enhance its regional stature and influence.

U.S. needs to re-engage with the Middle East

This requires the U.S. to engage Iran in solving the civil war in Syria and the war in Yemen, as well as the future stability of Iraq. The U.S. needs to also recognise the Iraqi Kurds′ right to independence, which could mitigate rather than escalate tensions between the Iraqi Kurds and Turkey, Iraq and Iran. In addition, the U.S. ought to provide financial aid to Lebanon, Syria and Yemen to lessen Iran′s influence and reach.

Finally, the U.S. should bolster the defence of Gulf countries to deter any Iranian conventional assaults while providing them and other Middle Eastern allies with a nuclear umbrella that will make the pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran increasingly less attractive. The U.S. should leave no doubt in the minds of Iranian clergy that the U.S. will stand by its commitment to protect its allies should they be threatened directly or indirectly by Iran.

Conversely, Iran should expect the normalisation of relations with the West and gradual lifting of all sanctions consistent with and parallel to its performance by demonstrating its willingness to end its support of terrorist organisations and violent extremists, contain its long-range missile programme and allow continued and unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Anything short of certifying Iran′s compliance with the deal will be counterproductive, as it will throw the deal into confusion and disarray, putting it entirely in jeopardy. Sadly, Trump has yet to show diplomatic savvy or the ability to solve any crisis, but only engages in reckless and dangerous polemics that do nothing but further poison the relationship between the U.S.′ foes and friends alike.

Rendering the Iran deal null and void will cap Trump′s misguided and treacherous approach to the Iran deal and irreparably undermine America′s global, moral and political leadership. Trump′s generals know this best and they should stop him before it′s too late.

Alon Ben-Meir

© Qantara.de 2017

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