Key Trump foreign policy adviser Walid Phares today offered clarification on the president-elect’s plans for the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, confirming that he intends to “review” the deal, but has no intention of trying to unilaterally rip it up.
Trump’s election has sparked a flurry of speculation about things he might do, and one of the major ones has been non-stop speculation that the P5+1 deal is effectively dead, even though a lot of international officials were quick to point out that the multi-lateral agreement isn’t something a US president could just destroy on a whim.
Sens. John McCain (R – AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R – SC) bought into this idea too, announcing yesterday that they believe Trump agrees with them on Iran, by which they mean he would be ripping up the deal with an eye toward eventually starting a war.
During the campaign, Trump said he intended to enforce the pact toughly, and Phares says he believes that Trump may seek to negotiate a few changes to the terms of the deal after a review, but again that this would be way short of killing the deal.
Phares also sought to temper other expectations on the incoming Trump Administration, saying that Trump would make negotiating peace between Israel and the Palestinians a “top priority,” despite Israeli officials openly insisting Trump’s election meant the end of Palestinian statehood, and that he might back off plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem if he did not have a consensus on doing so.
Over 18 months of campaigning, Trump said enough different things on different issues that people seem to be finding ways to argue he “promised” almost everything, but the big aggressive changes in US policy appear to be highly overstated.