Candice Malcolm: Trump needs to take lead on dealing with Iran

website-irantrump.png

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

Donald Trump once said the nuclear deal with Iran, drafted and signed by the Obama Administration, was the “worst deal ever negotiated.” Trump vowed to “rip up” the deal as soon as he took office. 

So much for that. This week, Trump re-affirmed the U.S.’s commitment to the deal and certified Iran’s compliance with it.

Trump let it be known, however, that he still believes it’s a bad deal – “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated” – and that Iran was violating the spirit of the agreement.

Ironically, it’s the U.S. that is technically in violation of the deal.

As pointed out in the New York Times, the deal prevents its signatories from “any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.”

But in reaction to Iran’s illegal ballistic missile program, the Trump administration imposed new economic sanctions against Iran. Under the Iran-friendly deal, the U.S. cannot use sanctions – even when Iran develops a weapons program in violation of U.N. resolutions.

It goes back to Trump’s point: this was one of the worst deals ever negotiated.

Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry were so desperate to reach an agreement with Iran, they were willing to cave to Iran’s every demand.

Because of this weak negotiating position, Obama’s deal ignores Iran’s bad behaviour and focuses only on preventing the Iranian regime from gaining nuclear capability in the next decade.

After that, the deal expires and the regime can build all the bombs its wants.

Obama merely kicked the nuclear can down the road, and in the meantime, the Iranian regime has filled its coffers and expanded its quest for regional dominance. Iran props up a dictator in Syria, commits war crimes on the battle field and promotes terrorist groups throughout the region.

Obama’s deal asked little of the Islamic Republic of Iran – a country with an abysmal human rights record, a penchant for official anti-Semitism and an open support for terrorist organizations.

The deal rests on the assumption that any deal is better than nothing, and that the West has no choice but to negotiate and work with the Mullahs in Iran.

But many see a different path forward.

Earlier this month, Canada’s former Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird spoke to a group of Iranian activists and pro-freedom supporters. Because of his actions as Canada’s top diplomat, Baird is considered one of the word’s leaders when it comes to promoting a principled policy in Iran.

In an exclusive interview with the Sun, Baird discussed what Canada can do to support a freer Iran.

“I think we’ve got to separate foreign-backed, military regime change and supporting people changing the regime,” said Baird. “We’ve got to support the Iranian people in their regime change.”

“This regime is incapable of changing,” said Baird, listing its many sins – from increased executions at home to facilitating terrorism and war crimes in neighbouring countries.

“It won’t be business as usual until this regime is gone.”

Baird is far more realistic than Obama, who hoped the nuclear agreement would...(READ MORE)