During the Obama Administration, a deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was worked out involving the US, Russia, China, France, UK, Germany, and Iran that would limit certain aspects of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program in return for lifting some sanctions. Of course, one of Donald Trump’s main goals is dismantling anything that was done by his predecessor and so he unilaterally pulled out of the deal and imposed new sanctions on Iran.
But when Iran announced that they in turn would exceed one provision of the deal that set a limit on the amount of low-enrichment nuclear fuel they could produce, the Trump administration reacted with outrage that Iran was breaking the terms of the very deal that the US had said they would no longer follow.
After years of deriding the nuclear deal as “the worst deal in history,” President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from what’s formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and reinstated sanctions on Iran. The Trump administration, already suffering from a serious credibility deficit with allies, is now in the awkward position of demanding that Tehran comply with an agreement the American president has not only derided but pulled out of! “Administration officials found themselves Monday grappling with whether to press the remaining parties to the deal, including Britain, France and Germany, to demand that Iran stay in compliance,” the Associated Press reports. “They must also consider if such a stance would essentially concede that the restrictions imposed during the Obama administration, while short of ideal, are better than none.”
So the Trump system of deals seems to be that only the other side needs to stick to the terms of any deal. Perfectly reasonable from the point of view of someone who has long been an utterly untrustworthy negotiator.