The Guardian view on Iran’s nuclear deal: Trump creates a narrative for war
The US is the author of Iran’s success. Its disastrous invasion of Iraq saw Iranian influence grow along a Shia crescent in the northern Middle East. Tehran’s proxies prop up the murderous dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and have emerged as powerful political blocks in Lebanon and Iraq. The anti-Iranian outbursts by Mr Trump and his team create a narrative in which war with Tehran is the only viable policy.
Goading Iran’s hardliners to restart weapons programmes is an extremely high-risk strategy likely to trigger to a military confrontation between the US and Iran and probably the Syrian regime. The problem is that such a conflict would most likely also involve Russia and Israel, the latter an undeclared nuclear power and Iran’s most vocal critic. Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is pushing for the right to either enrich or reprocess nuclear material. If it is allowed to then no doubt the United Arab Emirates, with its history of turning a blind eye to illicit nuclear weapons programmes, would want to do the same. Mr Trump is opening a Pandora’s box in the Middle East. The world needs to convince him to close it.