Remember when we struck a deal that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and we had just a little bit less tension in the Middle East? Those were the days, weren’t they? Judging by Trump’s reckless decision to blow up the deal at the first opportunity possible, we’re guessing he didn’t think those were the days. But the Trump administration wasn’t content with unilaterally withdrawing from the nuclear deal, they insisted that they will punish anyone who doesn’t go along with the new sanctions the U.S. has imposed. As Mike Pompeo put it, “We’ve made clear, anyone who touches [Iranian crude oil], anyone who supports it, anyone who allows a ship to dock is at risk of receiving sanctions from the United States.” Wow, it sounds like the Trump administration has gone all-in on a campaign of extortion diplomacy to frustrate global efforts to peacefully resolve the issue with Iran, doesn’t it? Pompeo sees it differently: He thinks Iran “has gone all in on a campaign of extortion diplomacy” to frustrate his administration’s efforts to cripple Iran economically. Yes, can you believe the Iranians have the audacity to try and get around our decision to abandon our agreement obligations and survive our economic warfare against them? What extortionist monsters!

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