Susan Rice: Leaving Iran Accord Makes US Far Less Safe

Susan Rice: Leaving Iran Accord Makes US Far Less Safe

President Donald Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Iran nuclear accord will leave the U.S. “far less safe,” Susan Rice, national security adviser during the Barack Obama administration, wrote in The New York Times.

“President Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal will not force Iran back to the negotiating table, nor will it address serious concerns about Iran’s behavior in the Middle East. But it will leave Iran’s nuclear program unconstrained, and an inconstant America isolated from its allies and far less safe,” Rice wrote.

“The president has just made the most foolish and consequential national security decision of his tenure,” Rice wrote, adding that, “when the mess materializes, Mr. Trump, per standard procedure, will blame everyone else.”

Trump on Tuesday announced that the U.S. would exit the agreement.

Rice wrote that the Iran deal has been a success, with Iran fully complying with the obligations in the accord, including giving up 97 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile, dismantling two-thirds of its centrifuges, and abiding by inspections.

“This agreement was never about trust. It is about stringent verification — in perpetuity. The deal effectively cut off all potential pathways for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” Rice wrote.

Iran can now return to its nuclear aims, Rice wrote.

“Now President Trump has ceded the moral high ground and freed Iran from all those constraints. Iran will be able to resume its nuclear activities without being blamed for violating the agreement,” the former security adviser wrote.

Trump has disregarded requests from allies and has “undermined international perceptions of our reliability and responsibility,” Rice wrote.

Withdrawing from the accord weakens the U.S.’s ability to take on Iran over its support for terrorism, its influence in neighboring countries, and its ballistic missile program, because without the accord, Iran can back those actions with nuclear capability, Rice wrote.

The president exited the deal because he said he could make a better one, Rice wrote. “The president spiked the Iran deal out of spite and hubris, with no viable alternative,” Rice added.

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