Trump has once again taken control of the media’s attention with a decision that puts the planet on edge. First he attacked world commerce, then he tried to sabotage the fight against climate change, and now he has backed out of an agreement which curbed the expansion of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, a region rocked by extremist violence.

In particular, the United States president has decided to abandon the agreement reached in July 2015 between the member countries of the Security Council (United States, China, France, Great Britain and Russia) and Germany with Iran. In that agreement, the Persian nation made a commitment to cease producing enriched uranium, a military grade material, for the next 15 years; dispose of 98 percent of the nuclear material that it owns; eliminate two-thirds of the centrifuges which it has installed; and guarantee that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency can gain access to its nuclear installations in order to verify that these terms are implemented. In exchange for these concessions, world powers have committed to lifting most of the financially burdensome international and multilateral sanctions that were imposed on Iran related to its nuclear program.

According to the top European governments, Tehran has remained faithful to the terms since the agreement went into effect in January 2016, therefore opening the opportunity to progress in a new direction favoring Middle East peace. However, last Tuesday, the new tenant in the White House unilaterally decided to abandon this agreement, arguing that it was a “disastrous deal” since it allowed the Iranian government (which he classified as a “sponsor of terrorism”) to obtain nuclear weapons even if it fully complies with the agreement.

As expected, the decision was condemned by the international community, particularly by the governments of the signatory countries who, like the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, emphasized the importance of “avoiding more withdrawals” and assuring that the agreement remains intact. This is a clear challenge to Trump, who threatened that businesses from any country which maintained any relationship with Iran would be sanctioned, in addition to resuming the sanctions imposed against the Arabic* country before the pact. In short, this is a new broadside that once again raises questions about the validity of the U.S. as a signatory of international treaties (as has already occurred with its unilateral withdrawal from the Paris climate accord**), and at the same time threatens to jettison years of effort to reduce the nuclear menace in one of the most unstable, problematic zones on the planet.

*Translator's note: This is a verbatim translation of the article, though Iran is not considered Arabic with respect to demographics.

**President Trump announced in June 2017 that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement under which 176 countries have currently agreed to work toward limiting global warming.