Christian Zionists and the Iran deal

America's Christian Zionists are on a roll. In December, they scored a major political victory with President Donald Trump's announcement recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and initiating the relocation of the US Embassy there. Last month, evangelical supporters of the Jewish state notched another win with the inclusion of the Taylor Force Act in an omnibus spending Bill. The Act makes certain funding to the Palestinian Authority conditional on it cutting stipends to the families of dead or incarcerated terrorists.

But their latest victory - Mr Trump's announcement that he is withdrawing the United States from the Iran deal (the JCPOA, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) - could have dramatic geopolitical consequences. Though shocking, the President's controversial decision has long been expected. After lobbying Mr Trump vigorously in support of the deal during a state visit to the White House last month, French President Emmanuel Macron left convinced that the President would withdraw from the JCPOA "for domestic reasons".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2018, with the headline 'Christian Zionists and the Iran deal'. Print Edition | Subscribe