President Donald Trump is having, even by his standards, a very bad week.
On Monday alone, quite apart from the continuing Russia scandal, he found himself blocked from fulfilling his dreams and campaign promises to repeal the two landmark achievements of the Obama years—the Affordable Care Act and the Iran nuclear deal.
The deal required Iran to reduce the number of centrifuges in its reactors by two-thirds; to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 97 percent; to destroy the core of a heavy-water reactor that might have produced plutonium bombs; and to allow IAEA inspectors to enter, monitor, and take measurements not only at “known” nuclear facilities but also at “suspect” covert sites.
Trump also made a terrible mistake when, during the NATO summit in May, he tried to persuade European allies to stop their trade and financial transactions with Iran.
By doing this, the United States accomplished the dubious feat of being the first power to violate the Iran nuclear deal.
It is a devastating sign—not only of how poorly Trump understands foreign policy but also of how inadequately his vaunted deal-making skills translate to international politics—that an American president is being outflanked so easily by an Iranian foreign minister.
It’s a sorrier sign still that the Iranian foreign minister is in the right.
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