Opinion

Now Trump Is Trying to Fix Obama’s Serious Mistakes, and It’s Not Easy

For Europeans the nuclear agreement with Iran is a good deal that allows them to sign business deals with the ayatollahs: after all, the only thing Iran wants is to destroy is Israel, not Germany, France or Britain

Barack Obama and Donald Trump stand with Michelle Obama and Melania Trump ahead of the 58th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017
Bloomberg

U.S. President Donald Trump will never be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. As far as European leaders are concerned, he is a warmonger. For their part, the nuclear agreement with Iran is a good deal that delivers seven quiet years, and allows them to sign business deals with the ayatollahs – and will make them billions.

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And what will happen at the end of the seven years? That will no longer be their problem. They will no longer be in power, and after all, the only thing Iran wants is to destroy is Israel, not Germany, France or Britain.

As opposed to Trump, the person who did win the Nobel Peace Prize is Barack Obama. He received it only a few months after taking office, even though he had not achieved or advanced peace – all he did was pontificate about “a better world without nuclear weapons,” in which conflicts are solved only through diplomatic means. Oh, what a wonderful world.

And what came from all this wonderful talk? A complete surrender by Obama to Putin in Syria and abandonment of the residents of that country to genocide, while “restraint” and “containment” of Islamic terror amazingly struck the United States and the world; and a free hand for a brutal dictator, Kim Jong Un, to carry out nuclear tests that allowed North Korea to become a nuclear power. And for dessert: an especially bad nuclear agreement with Iran, which allows it to break out to nuclear weapons in another seven years.

Now Trump is trying to fix Obama’s serious mistakes, and it’s not easy.

Let’s start with North Korea. It is no accident that Kim Jong Un recently corrected his ways. Instead of threats and sword sharpening, he has begun to advance peace talks with South Korea and has announced his commitment to disarm his country of nuclear weapons. He even released three American prisoners held in North Korean prisons this week. This is the clear result of the severe sanctions regime and the American threat of a ground invasion, which teaches us that sanctions and threats work.

This is the lesson that Trump wants to teach the Iranians, too. Not only did he leave the nuclear agreement, he even announced he would impose even more severe sanctions on Iran than those in place before 2015, when the accord with Iran was reached.

Trump can actually do so because the sanctions will be imposed without his European partners. They would have pushed him to compromise, but now, when he stands alone, he can go as far as he can and boycott any international company that dares to do business with Iran. And because no huge corporation can allow itself to lose out on the American market, European oil companies, airplane manufacturers, shipping companies and banks will have to end all their business with Iran – a major move against the country’s already faltering economy.

After all, today, too, the economic situation in Iran is not good. It is a poor country with high inflation, steep currency depreciation, unemployment and technological backwardness. So a good chance exists that the economic pressure will lead to the fall of the dictatorial ayatollahs’ regime, or at least to a major change in the nuclear agreement.

It is also worth remembering that the agreement, which was intended to moderate Iran, has made it more extreme. Using the new money that poured in, Iran increased its military budget by 40 percent, built ballistic missiles with the capability of carrying nuclear warheads and increased its support for terrorism.

The most absurd section of the agreement states that in seven years Iran can leave it and begin enriching uranium to a level that will allow it to build a nuclear bomb. So the new agreement must never allow such a thing to happen. To do so the accord must completely change the level of the supervision on Iran, which is now nothing more than a joke.

We must also prevent the possibility of Iran developing long-range ballistic missiles and continuing to fund terrorist organizations around the world, including in Syria – and including against us. But even if this succeeds and the agreement is changed for the better, Trump will never win the Nobel Peace Prize. He is exactly the opposite of what they are looking for in Oslo. He is exactly the opposite of Obama.