Did Trump Have A Hand In This? Probably.

One of the things President-elect Biden said he planned to do early in his term was to re-establish the U.S. role in the Iran nuclear agreement that was negotiated and signed under President Obama, but then along came Trump and pulled out of it, leaving our allies scrambling trying to pick up the pieces and salvage the deal.  Yesterday, Biden’s hope for re-joining the agreement may have been shattered.

FakhrizadehOn Friday morning, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was shot and killed in an ambush as he was traveling in a vehicle in northern Iran.  Gunmen waited along the road and attacked Mr. Fakhrizadeh as his car was driving through the countryside town of Absard, in the Damavand region. Mr. Fakhrizadeh was gravely wounded in the attack, and that doctors tried to save him in the hospital but could not.

It is believed by most that Israel was behind the attack, but also that Donald Trump was aware of it beforehand.  Frankly, I have no trouble at all believing it, for a few reasons.  Earlier this month, Trump asked military aides for a plan for a possible strike on Iran but was advised against the idea.  And we cannot forget that it was Trump who, without conscience or understanding what he was doing, ordered a U.S. drone strike in January in Baghdad, Iraq, that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military commander.

Fakhrizadeh-carRobert Malley, who served as Iran adviser to Obama and has informally advised Biden’s team, said Fakhrizadeh’s killing was among a series of moves that have occurred during Trump’s final weeks that appear to be aimed at making it harder for Biden to re-engage with Iran.

Donald Trump’s niece, Mary, is quoted as saying that if Donald Trump feels “like he’s going down he will bring everyone down with him…He’s going to tear us apart as much as he can on the way out the door.”  And Former Trump Organization executive Barbara Res made a similar statement …

“It’s a matter of wrestling this loss, as it were, from the victory of Biden, and he’ll do anything. And if all else fails, he will burn down the house.”

After the January drone strike that killed Soleimani, Iran retaliated by firing missiles at a U.S. base in Iraq, the closest the U.S. and Iran have come to war in decades.  After yesterday’s killing of Fakhrizadeh, Iran vowed to “strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate’s Middle East subcommittee, said on Twitter that “this assassination does not make America, Israel or the world safer.”

Israel is widely agreed to be the most likely perpetrator. Mossad is reported to have been behind a string of assassinations of other Iranian nuclear scientists – reports Israeli officials have occasionally hinted were true.  If Mossad was indeed behind the assassination, Israel had a closing window of opportunity in which to carry it out with a green light from an American president, and there seems little doubt that Trump, seeking to play a spoiler role in his last weeks in office, would have given approval, perhaps even active assistance.

Dina Esfandiary, a fellow at the Century Foundation, said …

“I think they would have had to get a green light from Washington. I don’t think they would do it without.  In terms of motive, I think it’s just pushing Iran to do something stupid to ensure that the Biden administration’s hands are tied when they come in to pursue negotiations and de-escalation.

Trump-Netanyahu

The problem is if you keep pushing their buttons, eventually it’s going to work. I don’t know if this is going to be the occasion, but certainly the calls for proper action in Tehran are going to increase across the political spectrum. The hardliners have already started. So it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the Iranians to act with restraint.”

Most people who have any understanding of the dynamics in the Middle East were pleased when the Iran nuclear deal was forged in 2015, and horrified when Trump withdrew from the agreement two years later.  For one thing, it was a slap in the face to our allies, but for another it was feared the deal would fall apart and open a door for Iran to move full speed ahead in the development of their nuclear program, to the detriment of the world.  I had high hopes that President-elect Biden would be able to salvage our role in the agreement, but the events of yesterday will no doubt make it harder, if not impossible.

Former CIA director John O. Brennan tweeted that the attack was …

“… a criminal act & highly reckless.  It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict. Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits.”

This all could all have been prevented back in February when the United States Senate had the option … nay, the obligation, to convict Donald Trump of the crime of obstruction of justice and could have removed him from office.  Instead, they gave him carte blanche, and now he may well have brought the world to the edge of war.

24 thoughts on “Did Trump Have A Hand In This? Probably.

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    THIS has tiny hands all over it …”This all could all have been prevented back in February when the United States Senate had the option … nay, the obligation, to convict Trump of the crime of obstruction of justice and could have removed him from office. Instead, they gave him carte blanche, and now he may well have brought the world to the edge of war.” – IMEACHMENT, remember?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its so sad, and honestly i think this problems there will never end in freedom. 😦 But i think the religious moment is only used for covering up pure interests of power. Power of some, at least against the mass of normal people. As we can see here in Europe too, with the wish of the Scots and the Catalonias becoming own souvereingnity. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes that certainly feels good at the moment, but if Iranian gov’t retaliates in any way they are playing right into Trump’s hand. At the cusp of leaving the White House, Trump would like nothing more than to start a hot war with Iran to justify sabotaging international relations further. Biden administration will inherit the middle east quagmire for years to come.
      Also Trump is planning a military coup, which would inevitably fail, but a hot war calls for a state of emergency and he could conceivably suspend the transition of power or nullify the election. Who knows what could happen with this crackpot. Let’s not give him any opportunities.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Would that it could be so, but I fear this has set the hope for peace back a few decades. A ‘man’ who does not understand international relations has no business sitting at the head of a government … EVER! Sigh.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not sure this is as big a concern for Biden, who can simply disavow anything Trump does and move on. It’s definitely an issue for Israel, and may create stress between that country and the US. Clearly, Israel feels threatened by Iran, and it’s not clear to me how the elimination of one person can eliminate that threat. Israel has nukes and doesn’t want anyone else in the region to have them — too late for that. Better to establish trade relations as it has with other Arab countries recently, although the settlements on the West Bank are a problem in achieving that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Much depends, I suppose, on what happens next, how Iran responds, but I do think it made Biden’s task of re-entering the agreement more difficult. As for Israel … Netanyahu is as corrupt as any, and deserves what he gets, but the people of the nation don’t deserve the retaliation that is sure to come, just like we don’t deserve the fallout from some of Trump’s actions. Or do we? We elected him, so perhaps we do. Israel’s and Trump’s disregard for Palestinians is unconscionable and sooner or later, there will be a price to pay.

      Like

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