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Trump risks fallout from Iran deal assault

US President Donald Trump, in seeking options to exit the Iran nuclear deal, may jeopardize his administration’s goal of containing Iran’s other troubling behaviors.
U.S. President Donald trump speaks during a lunch meeting with Senate Republicans to discuss healthcare at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTX3C3ZR

WASHINGTON — After twice certifying that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, President Donald Trump has now asked top aides to provide him with options to exit the agreement. If he leaves under manufactured pretexts, however, the president risks isolating the United States while jeopardizing his administration’s goal of containing Iran’s other troubling behaviors, former administration officials, allied diplomats and some administration allies warn.

What’s more, Trump has articulated no alternative strategy for containing Iran’s nuclear program should the agreement collapse. That raises the prospect that the president could generate a new nuclear crisis even as his administration faces the prospect that North Korea may be able to reach the United States with a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile within the next year, according to a new Defense Intelligence Agency assessment.

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