Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are less than 72 hours left in this Mid-Year Campaign and our independent journalism needs your help today.
If you value our work, please support Common Dreams. This is our hour of need.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

'This Is How the Iran War Started': Grave Warnings as Trump Ditches Nuclear Deal

"Today's unnecessary, reckless, and dangerous actions by Donald Trump will endanger our national security, further isolate us from our allies, and increase the likelihood that we become trapped in another unnecessary and avoidable war."

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum that re-instates sanctions on Iran after he announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Anti-war advocates and foreign policy experts implored Americans to remember the speech President Donald Trump delivered on Tuesday announcing U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, warning that it could mark the pivotal moment at which a historic diplomatic achievement was shredded in favor of a potentially catastrophic military confrontation.

"This is how the Iran war started," declared National Iranian American Council (NIAC) president Trita Parsi on Twitter during Trump's remarks.

In his speech—which critics characterized as music to the ears of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the murderous Saudi regime, and Iranian hardliners—Trump announced that the U.S. will quickly move to reimpose nuclear sanctions on Iran while also tacking on punitive new economic penalties.

"Playing to his base and spiting his predecessor may be the key motivations for Trump, but his new war cabinet is likely more focused on provoking a response from Iran that it could use as a pretext for war."
—Jon Rainwater, Peace Action

Trump's announcement places the U.S. in legal violation of the nuclear accord and drastically increases the chances of a "war of choice" with Iran, as peace groups noted in response to the president's speech.

"Today's unnecessary, reckless, and dangerous actions by Donald Trump will endanger our national security, further isolate us from our allies, and increase the likelihood that we become trapped in another unnecessary and avoidable war in the Middle East," said MoveOn, NIAC, Win Without War, and several other anti-war organizations in a joint statement on Tuesday.

 Jon Rainwater, executive director of Peace Action, argued on the heels of Trump's speech that while the president's decision to ignore the advice of experts who say the nuclear deal has been extremely effective isn't surprising, his decision is "particularly terrifying" given who Trump has chosen to direct his foreign policy—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton.

"Beyond inviting the collapse of the historic Iran agreement and all the benefits it provides, Trump has surrounded himself with advocates for regime change in Iran, Rainwater noted. "Playing to his base and spiting his predecessor may be the key motivations for Trump, but his new war cabinet is likely more focused on provoking a response from Iran that it could use as a pretext for war."

Despite Trump's decision to withdraw from the accord, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said following the U.S. president's remarks that he has "directed his diplomats to negotiate with European countries, Russia, and China about remaining in the nuclear deal," the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

While Iranian leaders have emphasized repeatedly that they have no plans of pursuing nuclear weapons with or without the deal, Ali Shamkhani, head of Iran's National Security Council, said in an interview on Tuesday that Iran "will not remain passive" in the face of the Trump administration's threats.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Markey, Bowman Join Climate Coalition in Urging SCOTUS Expansion

"We cannot sit idly by," said Markey, "as extremists on the Supreme Court eviscerate the authorities that the government has had for decades to combat climate change and reduce pollution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez Says US 'Witnessing a Judicial Coup in Process'

"It is our duty to check the Court's gross overreach of power in violating people's inalienable rights and seizing for itself the powers of Congress and the president."

Brett Wilkins ·


Critics Say Biden Drilling Bonanza 'Won't Lower Gas Prices' But 'Will Worsen Climate Crisis'

"President Biden's massive public lands giveaway in the face of utter climate catastrophe is just the latest sign that his climate commitments are mere rhetoric," said one campaigner.

Kenny Stancil ·


Grave Warnings as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Threatens 'Future of Voting Rights'

"Buckle up," implores one prominent legal scholar. "An extreme decision here could fundamentally alter the balance of power in setting election rules in the states and provide a path for great threats to elections."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo