President Donald Trump used his White House address Wednesday morning on Iran’s missile attacks to pressure Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to unite behind the U.S. policy of isolating the regime.
Though the U.S. abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, and imposed sanctions on Iran, the regime has been kept afloat thanks to economic and diplomatic support from Europe.
While announcing that the U.S. would refrain from retaliating for Tuesday night’s missile strike against two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, in which there were no American casualties, Trump made it clear Iran had crossed a red line that required Europe and NATO to respond.
Trump said (emphasis added):
The very defective JCPOA [Iran deal] expires shortly anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout. Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality.
They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal -– or JCPOA –- and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country.
Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward.
Today, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process. Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence. … And options in the Middle East became available. We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil.
The president also said he would impose sanctions on Iran, though he did not elaborate. His hope is apparently to create a better deal with Iran — one made more effective by the presence of a now-credible U.S. military deterrent. And he expects Europe to fall in line, rather than offering Iran loopholes.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.