Scrapping the deal with Iran could embolden its hardliners

FOR three years American forces have quietly worked in tandem with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to roll back Islamic State in Iraq. It was as unlikely an alliance as any imaginable. A decade ago IRGC operatives orchestrated attacks on American soldiers in Iraq. Crowds still gather in Iran to chant “Death to America!” Yet as American planes struck from the sky, Iran managed the advance on the ground. All this may be about to change.

As The Economist went to press, President Donald Trump was threatening to list the IRGC as a terrorist organisation and to “decertify” the nuclear deal that America and five other global powers signed with Iran in 2015. The agreement lifted some economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for limitations on its nuclear programme and close scrutiny of it, designed to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

Mr Trump’s denunciation of the deal—he has warned of a coming “storm”—has been met with similar bluster…

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