You and my uncle, the mayor, make a 12-year contract for you to stop building a giant car bomb that you were just two or three months away from finishing. You agreed because my uncle also agreed to stop holding your money frozen in his piggy bank.
You give up 97 percent of your car bomb-making explosives and my uncle sends back your money that's he has held hostage.
I run for mayor when my uncle's term ends, campaigning that his deal with you was "a disaster." I say it's a disaster because at the end of 10 years, some of the bans against you will expire and you may, maybe, start building car bombs again.
Then, when I win, I tear up the contract — calling you a cheater, a liar, a danger and a murderer — and say I'm going to start seizing your income and assets away from you again.
What are you going to do? Are you going to slink off to a hiding place? Or are you going to start building your car bombs all over again because you fear that I will come after you? After all, I've said I will again hijack your money and you've heard me call you a danger and a murderer and a cheat.
Well, duh, you're going to resume building car bombs just as fast as you can, any way you can.
This is a ridiculously simplified example of what President Donald Trump did Tuesday when he pulled out of the Iran deal negotiated by former President Barack Obama. In the Obama deal, Iran had agreed to stop building a nuclear bomb in exchange for the lifting of U.S. sanctions (and allies' sanctions) against it and the return of Iran's frozen money from oil profits and assets in the U.S.
Trump has said that sharp limits should be kept on Iran's nuclear fuel production beyond 2025. The deal currently lifts some of those limits. And Trump, rather than work to improve the original deal — which at the very least buys us time against yet another unfriendly and unstable country gaining a nuclear bomb in a decade — scrapped the whole thing.
Does anyone think the Iranians will wait around on Trump to negotiate something he likes more? If they do, they should also invest in ocean-front property in Kansas.
But as with much else Trump does, he defended it with misrepresentations and misinformation.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed he had new information on Iran's secret nuclear program, and he offered a dramatic presentation on information that was not new and that did not prove anything more than the dire necessity of the deal. (Israel also was never a fan of either the Iran deal or of Obama.)
Within hours of Netanyahu's assertions, the White House released a statement claiming that Iran "has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program." That would have been a bombshell revelation if it were true. But the White House soon had to correct the statement to change "has" to "had." White House spokesmen said the "has/had" mess was a typo.
Are you feeling any more comfortable?
Trump has just placed the U.S. in violation of an agreement forged with Iran by the U.S. and five other major world powers, and he has nothing but a pipe dream for replacing it. He did this after being told — by those allies, by his own secretary of state, by his own chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, by his own secretary of defense — that Iran appears to be in compliance and staying in the deal is in America's best interest.
France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia now hold the cards. We folded. If these other countries choose to go around us, then it is America that is isolated — not Iran. Further, how can Trump expect North Korea to take his word that we'll stand by a denuclearization treaty with that country, after we just waffled — with no proof of cause — on a similar agreement forged with Iran just three years ago?
But to Trump, the Iran deal was just another thing with President Obama's name on it. It was a deal Trump called "a disaster." And we all know how Trump feels about admitting he's wrong.
But he is wrong. The deal isn't perfect, but it's is better than he thinks.
Despite its detractors' complaints — mainly that it expires in 2025 — Iran gave up 97 percent of its enriched uranium and mothballed or dismantled the newest three quarters of its 20,000 centrifuges. And what detractors don't say — maybe haven't bothered to learn — is that some of the more important parts of the treaty continue to 2030. Like the 3.67 percent cap on enriched uranium — far below the level of enrichment necessary for bomb-grade material.
And under the deal that Trump just ditched, international inspectors were allowed to keep intrusively monitoring centrifuge production until 2040. Iran also had pledged that other sorts of inspections, like those for reprocessing spent fuel and abiding by the non-proliferation treaty, have no expiration date.
It's really too bad that Trump doesn't read. Now that we've publicly withdrawn from the deal, Iran has no obligation to keep opening the doors to inspectors and can restart its secret nuclear program any time now without notice.
Donald Trump just took a situation where there was no crisis and created one.
Trump is an escalating threat to America.