Since Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, European statesmen have struggled to keep it alive, hoping that a Democrat will be elected to the White House in 2020 who will recommit the U.S. to the agreement. Amos Yadlin, a distinguished retired Israeli general who conspicuously refrained from denouncing the deal during the Obama administration, argues that such a move would be disastrous:
The four years that have elapsed since the deal was implemented have shown that key assumptions made by supporters of the agreement were wrong. Iran was not open to dialogue on non-nuclear matters even before the United States withdrew from the agreement, and has not only failed to moderate its hostile conduct but has even intensified it. Billions of dollars that were unfrozen following the agreement have enabled Iran to support Bashar al-Assad’s murderous regime, the Hizballah terror organization, and the Houthis in Yemen, and to deploy military personnel and equipment that threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states from Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen. . . .
The recent threats from Iranian leaders immediately to start [uranium] enrichment at high levels demonstrate that, [contrary to the claims of its supporters], the agreement did not hermetically block Iran’s nuclear progress—in fact, the opposite: it enabled Iran to develop nuclear technologies while pursuing aggressive and dangerous activity in the region and continuing to call for “death to Israel” and “death to America.” . . .
Iran, [moreover], is a very vulnerable country that is rushing toward a direct clash with Israel and the United States. Paradoxically, a clear unwillingness to use force actually encourages Iranian aggression, while clear-eyed willingness to use it will cause the danger of war to recede. [Thus] it is necessary to continue the pressure on Iran from all directions, create a broad international coalition, and clarify in reliable and convincing fashion that not only are all options against Iran “on the table,” they also are ready to be used and the will to do so is real.