After 65 years of antagonism towards the outside world, the Hermit Kingdom is warming. The Singapore Summit with President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un strides towards denuclearization.
North Korea and Iran each present nuclear threats to their region and to the world. Should summit efforts with North Korean prove fruitful, the American President could look to Iran with similar aspirations.
Mohamad Reza Shah of Iran was an ally of the west until his 1979 toppling. President Carter supported the Ayatollah Khomeini as the Supreme Leader and Iran became an Islamic Republic. He was succeeded by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Protests and revolts were met with government crackdowns, death, public hangings, imprisonment, and torture.
A nervous region watched as President Obama and the 5+1 signed a Nuclear Agreement with Iran. Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Kingdoms, and Israel regarded the Iran Deal negatively. Their concerns were about Iran’s terrorist policies, ballistic missiles, and expanded influence on Iraq, the Arab Gulf, the Mediterranean Basin, and North Africa. Iran vowed destruction of Israel and other nations, and has armed militias and armies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Nuclear weapons would reinforce Iran’s threats.
Iran hunted for money from every president since Carter without luck. President Obama gave the Ayatollahs $150 Billion, and $1.8 Billion in cash, to sweeten the Nuclear Deal.
In May (2018) President Trump withdrew from ‘The Iran Deal’ calling it fatally flawed. He reimposed strict sanctions. Critics rant against Trump’s approach, claiming he will embolden Iran on a path to war.
Detractors have been wrong about foretelling the results of President Trump’s actions a majority of the time. Some would rather be wrong than welcome his success.