Civilians and pro-government forces walk down the destroyed Thalateen Street in the Yarmuk LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images

Trump’s Recipe for Middle East Chaos

In addition to curbing Iran's nuclear program, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action represented a major step toward establishing a new, more stable order in the Middle East. By abandoning the agreement, US President Donald Trump has all but ensured years, if not decades, of violent struggle for regional hegemony.

BERLIN – US President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this month to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear agreement, and to shift toward a policy of renewed sanctions and confrontation, will make the future of the Middle East even more uncertain. The signs in the weeks since have not been encouraging.

Trump’s decision cannot be justified by any breach of the agreement on Iran’s part. It is, rather, a return to the old, largely unsuccessful US policy of confrontation with Iran. The only difference this time is that the Trump administration seems determined to go to the brink of war – or even beyond – to get its way.

If the administration has any plans for keeping Iran’s nuclear program in check in the absence of the nuclear deal, then it is keeping them a secret. Judging by some of the administration’s rhetoric, it would appear that airstrikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities are on the table. But bombing would only delay Iran’s nuclear program, not stop it. Would Trump then consider a massive ground war to occupy the country and topple the regime? We know all too well how that strategy worked the last time it was tried.

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