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The escalation of tensions between Iran and Israel and the growing possibility of a much wider war — this one involving the U.S. — highlights the danger of giving Donald Trump, a man who had no knowledge, experience or intuitive feel for international relations, another term in office. His decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, with which Iran was in compliance, demonstrated appalling ignorance and has brought us, arguably, to the edge of the precipice on which we find ourselves.

The slowing of Iran's progress toward nuclear bomb capability was just one reason why the deal was important. It brought Iran closer to rejoining the world table than had been the case for decades — and, as should be obvious, you can't improve the table manners of someone who is not at the table. And it gave face to the reformers in Iran who wanted better relations with the West.

The incentives Iran had to comply with the conditions in place (the promise of the return of assets that were frozen after the taking of American hostages and the lifting of trade sanctions with former partners) opened a door to new cooperation with a country whose leaders had long inveighed against Europe and the United States.

Trump's pulling the U.S. out of the deal gave Iran a green light to resume its path toward nuclear capability, hurt the cause of reform in that country, strengthened the grip of the ayatollahs who had resisted positive engagement with the West, and removed whatever leverage we might have had as honest brokers between Israel and Iran.

And where are we now? Under the shadow of threat of a potentially global war, the interruption of Red Sea shipping lanes thanks to the attacks of Yemeni Houthis who are supported by Iran, and the complete loss of Iranian trust in the word and commitments of the United States. Trump's decision was a cautionary warning to other countries as well: Be wary of international agreements with the U.S. as commitments made under one administration can be dissolved at the whim of the next, potentially unstable, American leader.

The Middle East might look very different today if Trump had not pulled the U.S. out of the West's agreement with Iran. Americans should be deeply concerned about what will happen to our country's international standing and global entanglements should we choose to subject ourselves to another four years of Donald Trump's incompetence on the world stage.

Mary Lewis Grow is a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations Minnesota.