A fter recertifying Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal for the second time in 180 days, President Trump now seems determined to follow through on his campaign promise to rip up the deal.

Following an Iranian launch last week of a rocket capable of carrying a satellite, the US Department of Treasury slapped new sanctions on six Iranian companies. A day earlier, the Senate passed a sanctions bill that further tightens the economic noose on Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

But these sanctions, aimed at Iran’’s non-nuclear activities, are only a prelude to serious tension with Iran over the nuclear deal.

During an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump hinted at abandoning the international accord when the next 90-day certification deadline comes up again at the end of October. ““We’’ve been extremely nice to them in saying they were compliant,”” Trump said. Speaking at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio, the president added: ““If that deal doesn’’t conform to what it’’s supposed to conform to, it’’s going to be big, big problems for them.””

The president is clearly looking for an out card, with Trump asking key aides for viable options to exit the agreement. One idea floated is to push the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect suspicious military sites. The Associated Press reported last week that an Iranian refusal to open those sites would provide Trump with a solid basis to say Iran is breaching the deal, setting up Tehran to take most of the blame. However, the AP also noted that the US would need to enlist the support of the IAEA and a majority of the countries in the deal: ““The US has run into early resistance over concerns it has yet to produce a ‘‘smoking gun’’ — — compelling evidence of illicit activity at a military site that the IAEA could use to justify inspections.””

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate’’s Foreign Relations Committee that advanced the new sanctions, also cautioned Trump to seek partners. ““You can only tear the agreement up one time,”” Corker said at a Washington Post Live forum. ““When we have a plan where we are going to develop a policy outcome, that is the time. But to do it today, where you self-create a crisis… you lose your European allies.””

But Trump might find he doesn’’t have to be so proactive. Tehran’’s continued bad behavior may lead it to overplay its hand.

““It may be that as we put a higher priority on countering Iran and as we engage in more pushback, that the JCPOA simply can’’t survive that tension,”” said Michael Singh, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, on a conference call hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center. ““Iran itself is increasingly self-confident, aggressive, and bold. So Iranian behavior itself may endanger the JCPOA because of the backlash that it produces.”” (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 671 Jacob Kornbluh is also the political reporter for www.JewishInsider.com)