The conventional view among antiglobalist conservatives is that President Donald Trump’s nixing of the Iran nuclear deal, coupled with the much-heralded relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, is bad news. Their arguments are clear. America seems to be moving closer to another war of choice in the Middle East—potentially far more costly and devastating than the disaster in Iraq—and Washington has discarded any pretense of impartiality in the Israeli-Arab dispute, which makes progress in the stalled “peace process” impossible.
The doubters’ arguments are reasonable enough. The only way to take a positive view of recent events is sub specie aeternitatis, as heralding a new reckless adventure by the War Hawks which may finally engender the collapse of the global pax Americana.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an effort to degrade Iran’s nuclear program, was agreed to in 2015. The other parties—China, France, Germany, Russia, and Britain—all say that they want the Iran deal to hold together even without the U.S. They met in Vienna on May 25 to discuss the accord’s future. Tehran says it wants to keep it in force, but its leaders say they will observe its strictures only if the five powers promise that Iran can go on trading with the world despite U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. does not intend...