When even the New York Times and its house Never-Trumper Bret Stephens are applauding Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, you know that the results have been decisively in Trump’s favor.
I detail just how bad the Iran nuclear deal really was in The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran.
That many, if not all, the Democrat presidential candidates want to reenter it should be regarded as suicidal and treasonous if we had a sane public discourse today, which, of course, we do not.
“The Foreign Policy Fiasco That Wasn’t: Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal has paid dividends,” by Bret Stephens, New York Times, March 29, 2019:
It’s been nearly a year since Donald Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, to loud cries that it would bring nothing but woe to the United States and our interests in the Middle East.
So far, the result has been closer to the opposite.
That much was further made clear thanks to excellent reporting this week by The Times’s Ben Hubbard. “Iran’s financial crisis, exacerbated by American sanctions,” he writes from Lebanon, “appears to be undermining its support for militant groups and political allies who bolster Iranian influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.”
Well, heavens to Betsy. When the Obama administration negotiated the nuclear deal, the president acknowledged that sanctions relief for Tehran would inevitably mean more money for groups like Hezbollah. But he also insisted it wouldn’t make much of a difference in terms of Iran’s capacity to make mischief in the Middle East.
Hubbard’s reporting suggests otherwise. Iran can no longer finance civilian projects or credit lines in Syria. Hezbollah fighters and Palestinian militants aren’t being paid, and their families are losing subsidized housing. Even Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has complained publicly about the effects of U.S. sanctions.
Nor are those the only benefits of withdrawal. The U.S. is no longer looking the other way at Hezbollah’s criminal enterprises, including drug smuggling and money laundering, the way it did during the Obama administration in order to engage Iran diplomatically. Iran’s protest movement, quashed in 2009, has shown signs of renewed life, not least because of public fury that the regime spends money on foreign adventures while economic conditions worsen at home.
Most importantly, Iran has not used the U.S. withdrawal from the deal to restart its nuclear programs, despite its threats to do so. Part of this has to do with Tehran’s belief that it can wait Trump out, especially since Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have promised to re-enter the deal if elected….
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