What Trump writes with the hand, he erases with the elbow
Donald Trump has announced his definitive withdrawal from the Nuclear Agreement with Iran, while boasting of having "managed" to coordinate a meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, transforming international diplomacy into a juggling game.
Right now, it’s difficult to distinguish between President Trump's negotiating skills and his megalomanic swelled head when it comes to international diplomacy.
Last Tuesday, Trump announced that the United States is withdrawing from the Nuclear Agreement with Iran, while Mike Pompeo made his debut as Secretary of State on the Korean Peninsula by drawing the guidelines for a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-Un.
For those who forget what these agreements with Iran and North Korea are about, it is important to emphasize that their ultimate goal is to paralyze the development of nuclear weapons at the international level, not to intervene in the domestic policies of the countries involved.
As The Atlantic recalls in its analysis, the agreements "froze the programs in exchange for economic and other incentives," trying at all costs to prevent "a future nuclear catastrophe."
Those who criticize the agreements argue that their ultimate goal has not been met because, as happened during the Bush administration, many assume that both North Korea and Iran have not exactly fulfilled their obligations.
The difference between the two agreements - and what emphasizes Trump's insistence on choosing one over the other - is that the agreement with North Korea is solely with the United States; instead the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (or JCPOA), is an international agreement that also includes China, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany, as permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations, and the European Union.
Similarly, as researcher Richard Nephew of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and Newell Highsmith, a former State Department official explained in a research article, Iran doesn’t possess nuclear weapons, while the intelligence service has determined that North Korea has between 20 and 60 bombs, and is about to develop a long-range ballistic missile that could carry a nuclear warhead.
Why speak, then, of both agreements in the same scenario?
It was President Trump's arguments that led the media and specialists to highlight the difference between the two agreements and to dismiss the presidential assertions that his conduct before Iran could determine somewhat the outcome of his meeting with Jong-Un.
"Today's actions send a critical message: The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them," said Trump when announcing the withdrawal of the agreement, and again equating the presidential figure with the entire country.
But Trump's measures could be counterproductive, resulting in a whim for designing an agreement on its own terms, which could harm the figure of the United States as an international mediator.
"The president's thirst for a nuclear deal of his own has made him vulnerable to repeating one of his sharpest critiques of the Obama administration," explains CNN, "being so eager to strike a bargain with Iran took away considerable leverage and resulted in a weaker agreement."
Also, there are analysts who get some important links between Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement and an attempt to please his Israeli partners in punishing Iran at a time when disputes between the two countries have escalated the conflict in Syria.
David Rothkopf of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called Trump's move a "blunder" that "undercuts our standing and credibility, alienates our allies, empowers our enemies and will make the Middle East more dangerous," USA Today reported.