Thinking Trump Might Not Back Out Of Iran Deal Is Pie In The Sky…
President Hints To His “Buddy”, French President Macron, That He’s Flexible On Iran. But Once Macron’s Gone, We Think That’ll Prove Fleeting…
Trump closed his joint press conference with the French President with these words: “We can change and be flexible. In life you have to be flexible, and as leaders of countries you have to show flexibility.” And he hinted rather slyly that he might’ve worked something out with Macron, saying “nobody knows what I’m going to do on the 12th, although Mr. President, you have a pretty good idea…” (Trump does seem to have genuine affection for the man — plus he puts on one hell of a military parade). May 12th is the next deadline for re-certifying the Iran deal. Here’s a clip (click on the photo to watch):
But with Macron out of earshot, just listen to who Trump will be taking his cues from. Here’s incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his confirmation hearing last week (click on the photo to watch):
You really think so? You really think if Trump kills the deal Iran won’t suddenly make nukes a priority? You sure about that? (We’re not Iran, but we would.)
And we don’t even really know what new National Security Adviser John Bolton is advising, because he didn’t need to be confirmed by the Senate. But judging by his many appearances on Fox, (yes we do watch Fox, so you don’t have to), he may be even more convinced there’s no benefit to staying in, and little threat to pulling out.
And remember: everything’s a zero-sum game to Trump, which is why Macron’s been trying to craft “side deals” to the original Iran deal that Trump could count as “wins”. And he seems to be going a step further now: packaging these “side deals” into something Trump can call a “new Iran deal”.
But if Macron’s successful at this maneuver, he’s the winner, not Trump. He will have saved the Iran deal. He will have solidified France’s position as the world’s diplomatic leader at least when it comes to the Mideast. (In November, it was he, not Trump, who negotiated with Saudi Arabia to allow the President of Lebanon to leave the Kingdom. Despite Trump’s coziness with the Saudis). Trump may shout “America First” and say he doesn’t care if America abdicates its global leadership position if it costs us less money. But we think even though Trump says he doesn’t care, he does.
So keeping Trump in the Iran deal would be one hell of a diplomatic feat.