Munir A. Saeed

Cleaning up after Donald Trump

June 23, 2021 - 18:40

Interesting to watch how the current negotiations will proceed in Vienna considering the time running out on the outgoing Rouhani administration in Iran. 

One condition precedent that seems to be the potential deal-breaker for Iranians is for the U.S. to commit itself not to violate the agreement or abrogate it in future. The Iranian position is that this is an agreement between nations, not between one president and another. Future American presidents must respect this important tenet of international agreements. Americans say that no American president can guarantee what the next president will do. 

If Iran violates its commitments under the agreement, there are clear stipulations for the penalties to be imposed. What happens if other members to the deal violate their commitments, like America has already done? 

Perhaps to resolve this American claim of “immunity” from consequences of its behavior, there should be either a law passed by the U.S. Congress committing the U.S. to the agreement or better still, a U.S./Iran treaty entered pari passu with the nuclear agreement that will penalize any abrogation or violation of the nuclear agreement. 

Looks like Trump has put, not Iran, but his own country and allies in a mess they have to find a way out of. And Biden, if he wants to focus his energy and resources on China and Russia, the two giants in the East, the better come up with a solution fast for his predecessor’s foolishness. 

Incoming president Ebrahim Raisi, who will take office soon, is no fan of this nuclear deal in the way it has been crafted. Time is running out for those who want to conclude it. 

What distinguishes a wise person from a clever one is, the clever person is good at getting out of crises that a wise person avoided to start with. 

Perhaps it’s time for someone to tell America, be wise today so that you don’t need to be clever tomorrow!

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