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Eli Lake

Trump’s Failed Iran Gamble Was Still Worth It

The former president's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal is not necessarily an open-and-shut case of foreign policy malpractice.

He wasn’t wrong to do it.

He wasn’t wrong to do it.


In 2015, when President Barack Obama was trying to sell the Iran nuclear deal, one of the administration’s talking points was that many officials within the Israeli national security establishment supported the bargain privately even as they publicly supported Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to it. That talking point has recently been bolstered — but that doesn’t mean the agreement was a good one.

According to Haaretz, Netanyahu’s former defense minister, army chief of staff and spy chief have all recently stated that former U.S. President Donald Trump blundered in 2018 when he withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal. None of them said so at the time. The nuclear deal’s advocates have greeted all these recantations as vindication.