An all-out world war with Iran became a much stronger possibility for America and its allies after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal that President Barack Obama orchestrated to reduce a nuclear threat in the Middle East.
Trump promised “the highest level of sanctions” against Iran until it agrees to a new deal on the president’s terms. If it doesn’t, Trump said Iran “will have bigger problems than it has ever had before.”
The move was hailed by Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, an ardent opponent of the deal who thanked Trump on live TV from Jerusalem.
However, a consortium of European nations, including France, suggested pulling out of the deal would be perilous at best.
Without America’s involvement in the nuclear deal, Israel was now free to attack its regional neighbor that it has long called a threat to its existence. Trump’s announcement came one week after Israel published documents that “conclusively” showed Iran was still pursuing nuclear weapons, which would constitute a violation of the nuclear deal’s terms.
If Iran did attack Israel, America would almost assuredly come to its ally’s military assistance. But having the U.S, military involved in any conflict in the Middle East would also put America’s other allies, such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in a precarious situation: either they would be compelled to join their fellow NATO alliance members in combat or they won’t, possibly angering Trump and threatening to undo years of cooperation between the nations that could end in a military conflict of its own.
Trump spoke in no uncertain terms during his announcement.
“I am announcing today that the united state s will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” he said from the White House before signing a document making it official. “The US no longer makes empty threats.”
He continued: “If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”
Iran’s reaction to Trump’s announcement offered no comfort to the tenuous situation.
Beneath it all was likely Trump’s true inspiration for puling out of the deal: to continue trying to undo the presidential legacy and political achievements of Barack Obama, who the president has long resented.