It appears President Trump may have missed the International Relations class which dictated that unilaterally withdrawing from international treaties is a fatal mistake. With all pretences of diplomacy thrown in the air, Trump’s address on Iran on all fronts indicates that the United States plans to pull the plug on the Iran deal.

What President Trump fails to recognize is that this move is not a small-time act with which he can go by unscathed to appeal to his voter-base and donor banks. Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPO), the Iran Pact was a deal between Iran and six international powers which impacted the issue of nuclear weapons throughout the world. This is not like the last time’s issuing of sanctions, where the US had the cooperation of the UN; this unilateral backing out of the deal isolates the US, with the EU, Germany, UK and France already condemning the idea of withdrawing from the deal. His aggression towards Iran is baseless as the head of IAEA, along with many reliable sources, calculate that Iran is complying with the limits set on it by JCPO.

Pakistan stood much to gain by JCPO as removal of sanctions has been instrumental in the development of both Pakistan and Iran. The implementation of CPEC could enable Pakistan to increase its trade with Iran and perhaps finally lead it to move forward with the construction of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

More worrying are the political implications of Trump’s move. If US withdraws from the deal, it will expect Pakistan as an ally to reinstate sanctions on Iran. If Pakistan does so, it will do so independent of the UN and firmly establish itself as anti-Iran, resulting Pakistan to be surrounded by three hostile neighbour states.

This aggressive move could lead to destabilization in Iran and Pakistan will be dragged in the conflict. If Pakistan professes loyalty to the US and Saudi Arabia, it risks alienating its significant Shia population and of creating unrest in Baluchistan, which shares a border with Iran. The implications for Middle East, where Iran is involved in Iraq and Syria, are even more problematic.

All this talk by the US to enable peace in Afghan-Pak region gets thrown out of the window with an aggressive Iran. If US truly care about Afpak and the Middle East, it needs to realize that a strong stable Iran is necessary for both.