Now that President Trump has made good on a major campaign promise – pulling the U.S. out of the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal – the debate has begun whether it was the right move. Abbas Milani, a Hoover research fellow and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, offers his opinion and explains how the change affects both the politics of Iran and the Middle East region.

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  1. Isaiah's Job Inactive
    Isaiah's Job

    So Iran’s government is a “brutal, despotic regime” but with “moderate elements?” So with a great deal of effort, trust, and risk on the part of the American people it will become… what? Moderately brutal and despotic? The value of this kind of nuance escapes me.

    Professor Milani obviously means well for his nation and wishes for it to be spared the calamity of civil war. Any rational person can understand this. He seems honorable and forthright. But it honestly doesn’t appear that there are usefully moderate elements within the Iranian government. Not really. The whole “radical” vs. “moderate” question is a gruesome, face-saving puppet show put on for the likes of willfully naive (or simply cynical) figures like John Kerry. And it’s one that been on display for a very long time now.

    So I support the President in tearing up the agreement. I say this as someone who is fond of the Persian people, grew up in a house where Persian engineering students were regular guests, and enjoys reading authors like Azar Nafisi. I will pray for them to find a way peacefully out of the wilderness of mirrors they are trapped in. But not at the expense of being honest about what their government really is: brutal, despotic, and lacking in moderation that can matter.

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