Fear - Trump in the White House
Bob Woodward
Contributed by Larisa Brooke

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Chapter 16
Summary

This chapter surrounds the Iran deal negotiated by President Obama. The deal needs a renewal after every 90 days, and only 2 days remain before the renewal date. Trump has already made it clear that he does not like the deal. He had said that he was aiming at getting the US out of the deal (Woodward 117). Though Rex Tillerson has been given the responsibility of dealing with the situation, we learn through his meetings that Preibus is sure that the president will not support the renewal. The only problem is that Iran is complying with any US demands and refusing to renew the deal may seem unjustified and as an act of principle (Woodward 117). Therefore, Trump eventually approves the renewal though claims that it is the last one. After the renewal, a letter is released, and Trump wants it to include the statement that Iran is “a leading state sponsor of terror” (Woodward 118). The letter makes Trump a target of criticism and he instructs Tillerson to hold a conference that will list all the grievances that are held against Iran (Woodward 118).

At the same time, Russia has warned Mattis privately against any attack on the Baltics to curb Russian influence, mentioning their willingness to use nuclear weapons under certain circumstances (Woodward 119).

Analysis

Trump is generally against most of the ideologies enacted by Obama. Clearly, he wants to erase some of the accomplishments by saying that they are not in the US’s interests. The Iran deal is working well but he keeps on insisting that Iran is violating the terms, despite the efforts of his advisers to affirm that they are in compliance. His goal is to get out of the deal, and he seemingly doesn’t care about any benefits of the deal, political or otherwise. This shows that Trump has a different thinking process from other individuals, including his advisers and Obama. He does not want to support a deal with people who may be in support of terrorism. Nonetheless, Trump continues renewing the deal since it has some benefits to the US and Iran is in full compliance.

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