In withdrawing from the nuclear deal, the US – not the vile Iranian regime – is the rogue state risking global security
Such is the carnival of the Trump presidency, it can be tempting – especially for those outside the US – to view it as spectacle, a long-running reality TV show that veers between The Apprentice and House of Cards. But every now and then comes a reminder that, for all the cartoonish absurdity of the central character, the Trump administration is all too real, that its actions matter and that the stakes are lethally high.
A fresh and urgent reminder of that has come today with Iran’s declaration that it will no longer fully comply with the nuclear deal it reached with the US and Europe in 2015, by which Tehran agreed to a 15-year pause on its nuclear programme in return for the easing of economic sanctions. In a televised address this morning – exactly one year after Trump withdrew the United States from the deal – Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, announced a series of moves that would inch the country closer to acquiring the ability to produce nuclear weapons, moves that would only be averted if Europe defied Trump and allowed Iran once again to sell its oil and have access to the international banking system. For the most severe of these steps, Rouhani gave the Europeans 60 days to make up their minds: either resume trade or watch Tehran resume its nuclear efforts.