Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator for the Iran nuclear agreement during the Obama administration, today penned an op-ed for USA Today in which she blamed the attack on the Baghdad, Iraq, U.S. embassy on President Donald Trump.
“It is President Donald Trump’s failed policy toward Iran that has brought us to this combustible moment,” Sherman wrote.
The attack on the embassy came after U.S. airstrikes killed Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah combatants in Iraq. The airstrike was purportedly a response to the paramilitary group’s alleged attack on an Iraqi military base. According to Sherman, Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal destroyed the uneasy balance between the U.S. and Iran. She noted that the president decided to opt for a “maximum pressure” campaign on the Western Asia country instead.
“Like much of Trump’s national security and foreign policy, his Iran approach is tactical and not strategic,” Sherman wrote, claiming that the plan has been “devastating” for U.S. interests.
The former undersecretary for political affairs said that even the “harshest critics” of the Iran nuclear deal would now agree that “solid, incremental progress” is better than “chaos” in situations of strain on such international relationships.
Sherman ended her piece by placing the responsibility of the “events and outcomes” of places like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, China, Venezuela, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Hong Kong at the feet of Trump.
“Having diminished our State Department, intelligence agencies and military, the very institutions that could have helped him construct an effective national security and foreign policy, he is now on his own.”
"The President has two prisms for everything he does. One, what will make me look strong, powerful and decisive, and second, what will play to my base."
– Fmr. Amb. Wendy Sherman on Mike Pompeo's comments pic.twitter.com/aDsjWU50vd
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) June 11, 2018
Sherman has been vocal in her criticism of Trump’s foreign policy. The former North Korea policy coordinator for Bill Clinton’s administration recently slammed the president for his approach to North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un. After Trump’s nonchalant response to Kim’s announcement of a “new strategic weapon,” Sherman accused Trump of playing into the dictator’s hands.
“I think what is different here is that Kim Jong Un has played the president like a Stradivarius violin,” she said to MSNBC’s Frances Rivera, adding that she believes Kim used the photo-ops to gain international credibility while at the same time developing a weapon.
Sherman also said she believes Kim is aware of the U.S.’s purportedly weaker position in the global landscape due to recent events in Iran, Iraq and China. Regardless, she believes Kim is still open to diplomatic relations with the U.S., although whether his goals will ever be able to align with Trump’s remains to be seen.