With the IAEA having once again affirmed Iran’s compliance with the P5+1 nuclear deal, to the surprise of no one, the Trump Administration’s stated intentions of killing the deal are looking less certain. That does not, however, mean they have given up.
President Trump continues to publicly make false claims of Iran “violating” the deal, while refusing to offer any specifics on what he imagines them to be doing. The cabinet, resistant to declaring Iran in violation earlier this summer, continues to resist Trump’s push.
It’s not just the cabinet, either. Earlier this week, intelligence officials were confirming to the media that there is growing resistance in their ranks to calls to fabricate a claim of violation. Some even cited the 2003 Iraq invasion as informing their decision not to help lie the public into war.
John Bolton insists he’s come up with a secret plan to get the US out of the deal, but concedes he doubts that the current cabinet would let that happen. We don’t know what that plan is, but other comments from Trump and the few anti-deal cabinet figures he has point to a strategy of changing the subject.
In declaring Iran in violation, the administration has no way to point to any of the terms of the deal, because Iran isn’t violating them. Instead, they’ve chosen to complain that Iran is allied with the Syrian government or arming Hamas, facts which are sore spots for the US, but totally irrelevant to the nuclear issue.