Something extraordinary has happened in Washington. President Donald Trump has made it clear, in no uncertain terms and with no effort to disguise his duplicity, that he will claim that Tehran is cheating on the nuclear deal by October — the facts be damned.
In short, the fix is in. Trump will refuse to accept that Iran is in compliance with the international pact and thereby set the stage for a military confrontation. His advisers have even been kind enough to explain how they will go about this. Rarely has a sinister plan to destroy an arms control agreement and pave the way for war been so openly telegraphed.
The unmasking of Trump’s plans to sabotage the nuclear deal began a few weeks ago when he reluctantly had to certify that Iran indeed was in compliance with its end of the deal. Both the US intelligence as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency had confirmed Tehran’s fair play. But Trump threw a tantrum in the Oval Office and berated his national security team for not having found a way to claim Iran was cheating.
According to Foreign Policy, the adults in the room — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Security Adviser H R McMaster — eventually calmed Trump down, but only on the condition that they double down on finding a way for the president to blow up the deal by October.