TRUMP’S IRAN GAMBIT: “THE EQUIVALENT OF PULLING THE PIN OUT OF THE GRENADE”
Donald Trump’s declaration earlier this month that he intends to withdraw from the Iran nuclear accord—the “worst deal ever,” as he loves to say—unless lawmakers on Capitol Hill made it broader and tougher, was “the equivalent of pulling the pin out of the grenade and handing it to Congress,” one Democratic congressional aide told me. Now Congress has 90 days—when the president has to recertify the deal—to put the pin back in. But, as in an action movie, it’s a task that currently looks impossible. The legislation that the Senate devises will have to garner 60 votes and also satisfy the Trump administration, which wants lawmakers to strengthen restrictions on the regime’s behavior. If Congress fails to deliver, Trump will unravel his predecessor’s signature foreign policy achievement. Meanwhile, the Iranians have said that any move by the Trump administration to unilaterally change the terms of the agreement would be viewed as a breach, potentially starting their race for a bomb.