Scott Ritter of The American Conservative writes (abridged):
The International Atomic Energy Agency announced this week that Iran has exceeded the amount of low-enriched uranium permitted under the nuclear agreement—the one President Donald Trump withdrew from, but which our coalition partners are committed to keeping.
While Iran defends its actions by noting it is simply responding in kind to the decision by the United States to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and re-impose economic sanctions, the fact is Iran’s enrichment gambit now puts it on a clear collision course with the Trump administration.
If Iran does not return to compliance, then there is a real possibility that the United States will launch military strikes against Iran’s principle nuclear facility in Natanz, thereby triggering an Iranian response which could propel the two nations into a major military conflict by month’s end. News reports over the weekend indicated that the United States has already launched cyber-attacks against the facility but Iranian officials claim they were unsuccessful,
But while the blame for a war with Iran would necessarily be shouldered by Trump, the reality is that the conditions that make this conflict possible were put in place by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.
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