Barack Obama left office believing his legacy was secure.
His initiatives like the Iran nuclear agreement were so intertwined with the international world that they would be impossible to untangle.
But then Donald Trump did the one thing Obama never expected.
The protests against the Iranian government erupted over the holiday weekend.
Demonstrators demanded equality for women, a free press, elections, and a fair distribution of resources.
The demands for freedom came when all the pundits believed Obama’s nuclear agreement cemented the regime’s control over the country.
But these demonstrations are also coming at a time when the Iranian nuclear deal is at its most vulnerable.
Donald Trump is facing a mid-January deadline on re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the nuclear deal.
“The deadlines for Trump begin on Jan. 11, when the agreement requires him — as it does every 90 days — to certify whether Tehran is meeting its obligations under the deal. International inspectors who visit the country’s nuclear facilities have repeatedly said Iran is doing so. But Trump refused to certify Iranian compliance in mid-October, citing in part Iranian aggression throughout the Middle East.
Trump’s refusal to certify had no immediate practical effect on the deal, though under the law it triggered a 60-day window for Congress to restore the sanctions by a simple majority, without the possibility of a Senate filibuster. While expectations were high for some congressional action that Trump could point to as a response to his complaints, Congress became consumed by tax reform and took no action. One hard-line measure that attracted attention this fall, devised by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), went nowhere after Democrats made clear they would strongly oppose it.
Even more consequential are upcoming deadlines for Trump to continue the temporary waiver of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which the deal dictates will not be permanently repealed for several more years. The president must renew the waivers every 120 days. Sources familiar with the law said multiple waiver deadlines arrive between Jan. 12 and Jan. 17, forcing Trump to reassess the deal.”
Establishment foreign policy hands believe Trump will isolate America from the rest of the world should he decide to put sanctions on Iran back in place.
Such a move would blow up the nuclear deal.
But Trump promised to end the deal and he has been searching for a way to keep his promise.
Now with the Iranian government threatening to crack down on the protests – the government has already murdered 12 demonstrators – Trump may have his opportunity.
The President has been very supportive of the uprising against Iran’s Islamic government.
This stands in stark contrast to Obama’s silence as the Ayatollah crushed the 2009 Green Revolution.
But the Iranian government waging a bloody battle against pro-freedom demonstrators would provide Trump the cover he needs to put the sanctions back in place while keeping our allies on board.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.