The first week of November saw the entirely predictable capitulation of the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives. And with it, an abrupt end to the aura of invincibility that had hitherto framed Donald Trump’s presidency.Though the midterm elections returned the control of the House to Democrats in an emphatic fashion, Trump’s political career may not necessarily be over with the Republicans tightening their hold on the US Senate. That said, the results have significant signalling potential to friends and foes alike. For one thing, Trump is presiding over the implosion of American moral exceptionalism, and this is plainly obvious in the critical global reaction to his recent decision to pull out of the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by this predecessor Barack Obama in 2015.Trump says a nuclear Iran poses danger to the world, but this is all part of the great American foreign policy con. Indeed, Trump through his unfiltered rhetoric has simply given a face to what had quietly lurked in the shadows of Congress through past decades while the grand facades of liberalism and democracy took centre stage.In fact, truer words by a high-ranking American official have never been spoken since former the US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, candidly said to the reporters in the early years of the Cold War: “The United States of America does not have friends; it has interests.” Iran, then, is a manifest example of the double-standards in American foreign policy. To me, the lengths that Washington will go to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons reeks of hypocrisy; given that the apartheid state of Israel, its bosom buddy in the Middle East, reportedly has a few hundred of them housed near the city of Dimona.The core American arguments against a nuclear Iran rest on the assumption that the country is run by deranged, genocidal maniacs. This, ironically, is a tag that would have fit the US to a tee in 1945, when it levelled Japan with two atomic bombs; to-date the only time nuclear weapons have been used on civilian populations. Washington also argues that a nuclear Iran threatens the stability of the Middle East by secretly smuggling technology to ‘terrorist’ outfits like Hamas and Hezbollah (now elected representative in the Lebanese parliament) who may develop “dirty bombs” to use against US allies and assets in the region.As for the P5+1 nuclear deal, the Trump administration claims snapping back sanctions on Iran is a warning shot to the world that the Ayatollahs cannot be trusted with enriching fissile material even to a small degree, as the word ‘peaceful’ does not exist in their dictionary. Lastly, Iran has an abysmal human rights record where critics of the regime are ruthlessly purged by the Revolutionary Guards employing methods that would put common thugs to shame.Now, I have no sympathy for the tyranny of any persuasion but the facts speak for themselves.Who started an arms race against the Soviet Union in the Cold War that turned the far reaches of the earth into proxy battlefields with thousands of casualties? Not Iran.Who recently ordered a massive overhaul of its nuclear arsenal at the cost of trillions in taxpayer money citing the ‘national interest’? Not Iran.And If nuclear Armageddon was to strike humanity tomorrow, where would those weapons of mass destruction likely originate from? Again, not Iran.It is instructive to note that the hostility and the repeated threats of annihilation have gotten Washington nowhere with Iran, a fact not lost on US allies in the European Union, Japan and India.Which is why they have pressured Trump to grant them exemptions from the new round of sanctions in importing Iranian oil, and more importantly are in the process of developing a payment system specifically for Iran that skirts the US banking system.Hypothetically, if deterrence is why the US keeps nuclear weapons, then it has no right to slam Iran for wanting its own stockpile given that an atomic Israel, now in cahoots with Saudi Arabia, forever schemes to upend the Islamic republic.And like many declining empires of antiquity, America too refuses to learn from history. Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran has weathered all manners of US and Israeli enterprise aimed at sabotaging the government.But even earlier, in the latter days of the Caliphate, Shia Iran not only maintained an identity distinct from the rest of the Islamic world, it also zealously battled the predominantly Sunni caliphs to maintain that distinction.As for the P5+1 nuclear deal, the Trump administration claims snapping back sanctions on Iran is a warning shot to the world that the Ayatollahs cannot be trusted with enriching fissile material even to a small degree, as the word ‘peaceful’ does not exist in their dictionaryThe victim-hood narrative, hence, is deeply ingrained in Iranian culture and has helped them defy all odds and conspiracies to topple the state. Accordingly, it is hard to see Iran kowtowing to Washington anytime soon.Additionally, any statements of solidarity by the White House for the people of Iran when they are being starved of money and dignity naturally ring hollow, and only serve to reinforce the clergy’s narrative.Finally, I’m sure that when Trump dials down his bloodlust and shows an iota of sincerity toward a denuclearized world, he will realize the most practical option is the one Southeast Asia has upheld since 1997.The Treaty of Bangkok, of which Malaysia is a member, mandates all member states must refrain from producing, acquiring, trading and using nuclear weapons.It is a treaty founded on mutual trust and respect, unlike the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which Washington routinely holds hostage by threatening to cut off allies from American military cover unless they cough up additional cash.Regrettably, the Trump administration considers everyone but itself a grave danger to the incumbent world order. Everyone from barefoot migrant children trekking toward the southern US border to CNN reporters who dare ask Trump important questions.Therefore, unless American allies soon realize that the current White House is a pied piper leading them off the pier, I fear we may be nearing another catastrophic war that a cornered Trump kicks-off merely to get re-elected in 2020.The writer is an Ipoh-based independent journalistPublished in Daily Times, November 13th 2018.