One of the promises Donald Trump made on the campaign trail was to dismantle or renegotiate the U.S. deal with Iran that limits its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. If he makes good on that promise, it won’t be the first time a Republican administration has walked away from an arms deal negotiated by Democrats.
In 1994 the Clinton administration struck a deal with North Korea that essentially would freeze Pyongyang’s nuclear program in exchange for aid. The so-called Agreed Framework was highly controversial in Congress. It eventually collapsed in 2002, when the Bush administration confronted North Korea with evidence that Pyongyang was cheating.
When it comes to Iran, another arms-control expert, Laicie Heeley of the Stimson Center, says it could be difficult for Trump to renegotiate the deal since other countries are parties to it.
“This is going to be an interesting one, given his emphasis on the relationship with Russia,” she says. “Russia is not going to want us to rip up this deal — they are one of our negotiating partners, and this deal is important to them.”
So if we see what Heeley calls “the deal-maker Trump” rather than the “bombastic” one, the president-elect will have to consider those relationships with Russia and Europe. Meanwhile, all eyes are on whom he will pick for secretary of state and other key foreign policy positions.
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