Will Trump encourage the revival of Iran?

  • Iranians, unsurprisingly, have rejected religious extremism and global isolation in favour of economic progress and engagement with the world. Trump was wrong (again) when he called the nuclear deal the worst deal ever, it was probably the best bit of politics that we've seen in the region for a while. Iranians are proud and nationalistic. They don't want to be a pariah state but at the same time don't want superpowers telling them what to do. Bush tried pushing them around and they responded by voting in anti-US firebrand Ahmadinejad, whilst Obama's deal gave them the freedom to move forward and they took it.


    Trump has gone back on a lot of the bullshit he spouted though so let's hope he sticks with the deal. He has already skipped an opportunity to tear it up which is heartening, but his closeness to the Saudis is a worry. They are one of the few nations that gains from Middle Eastern instability. Trump should be using all his schmoozing skills to smooth the water between Saudi and Iran. He can do it, let's be honest schmoozing is his only real talent and it's a hugely important one in politics, but is he being advised properly to make sure it happens? Fingers crossed. He's so erratic you can't predict what he'll do.


    Meanwhile, well done to the Iranians...!

  • Yes, the Iranians deserve to be the directors of their own destiny. And kudos to Obama for having the foresight and courage to have played that one. Trump may see the sense in this once he gets into actual politics and stops having to play table tennis with his equally unstable opposition. Maybe he will stop playing at being Dennis the Menace and become a real icon for change and progress among these nations that have become so battered by their own ruling clergy. I see Iran has voted the moderate cleric in again. Good sign.

  • Iranians, unsurprisingly, have rejected religious extremism and global isolation in favour of economic progress and engagement with the world. Trump was wrong (again) when he called the nuclear deal the worst deal ever, it was probably the best bit of politics that we've seen in the region for a while. Iranians are proud and nationalistic. They don't want to be a pariah state but at the same time don't want superpowers telling them what to do. Bush tried pushing them around and they responded by voting in anti-US firebrand Ahmadinejad, whilst Obama's deal gave them the freedom to move forward and they took it.


    Trump has gone back on a lot of the bullshit he spouted though so let's hope he sticks with the deal. He has already skipped an opportunity to tear it up which is heartening, but his closeness to the Saudis is a worry. They are one of the few nations that gains from Middle Eastern instability. Trump should be using all his schmoozing skills to smooth the water between Saudi and Iran. He can do it, let's be honest schmoozing is his only real talent and it's a hugely important one in politics, but is he being advised properly to make sure it happens? Fingers crossed. He's so erratic you can't predict what he'll do.


    Meanwhile, well done to the Iranians...!

    Well done indeed. But the real leader, the Ayatollah is the real power and I see no sign that he or the other clerics relinquishing power to democratically elected leaders. But as you say, it could have been another character like Ahmadinjad again, so both the Iranians and us have breathed a sign of relief.


    I although I agree with in part, that the nuclear deal is worthwhile, I can see it from Trump's point of view too. The Iranians are still sponsoring terrorist groups and are fighting at least one major war via their proxies in Yemen, so Trump is right to hold them to account.


    I know its history now, but most of the British soldiers killed in Iraq were due to Iranian made IEDs. We should have sent Iran a little "message" about that.


    If there was entente cordiale between Iran and Saudi Arabia, that would pretty much end all of that region's problems in one go, but at the moment there are too many extremists on both sides and I doubt there is anything, should he be inclined to do so, that Trump can do about it.

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  • Trump has at least made an attempt by launching into a facts first speech in Saudi that asks why Islam is so reluctant to isolate its murderous extremists.


    I was pleased to see the first lady not wearing a head scarf. Why should she? It is our culture not to. Non-Muslim countries don't demand visiting Islamic women take theirs off so why must non-Islamic visitors put one on and trudge round in black body suits? One has to ask who these people think they are to dictate to the rest of the world according to the chauvinistic injunctions written into their religious code by later oppressive clerics.


    Trump has asserted his own cultural rights. Good. Why not? This is a very pertinent question: Why not?

  • Trump has at least made an attempt by launching into a facts first speech in Saudi that asks why Islam is so reluctant to isolate its murderous extremists.


    Well we all know that one, the countries themselves support them. Saudi Arabia was created by doing a deal with the devils and we're all suffering because of it.

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  • That's why it's important to try not to just think of oil and think of other issues as well, or you just become the sycophant of your producers. The question about extremism is a very pertinent one, especially as it has raised its hideous head again in Manchester.

  • Seems like all the hard work that had been done to bring Iran back in from the cold is about to be undone by Trump. Quite a few Republicans have been desperate to start a war against Iran, Trump was supposed to be the non-interventionist. It turns out he's no different, again.


    Although I'm generally a right winger I fail to understand why Republicans are always so keen on war. It's true that a policy of diplomacy and little or no military intervention doesn't necessarily work, e.g. Syria, but surely that's better than winding up potential nuclear states??

    Do you think he's disappointed that Kim has turned out not to be quite such a nutter after all so he's looking to pick a fight with someone else?

  • Ok, well, if it were not already obvious to everyone, I am a interventionist, or some might say a neo-con on such issues.


    Keeping Iran nuclear weapons free is important, but sorry to disappoint some, but I think I may be in agreement with Trump here.


    Look, all the Islamic violence around the world is coming from two countries. The Suni variant which fuels ISIS, Al Qaeda and whatever comes next, is from Saudi Arabia. Extremist leaflets in the Islington Mosque in London have on the back of them "printed by the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia," I digress...


    The Shia variant of radical Islam which fuels Hezbollah, Hamas and others comes from Iran. Iran is spreading death and misery on a unprecedented scale. The millions that may starve in Yemen, is a direct result of Iran's actions. Lets not forget all the British soldiers killed in Iraq by mostly Iranian made IEDs. That in itself, in my opinion, was a declaration of war upon Britain by Iran.


    I don't want Iran to get its nuclear weapons back, but the current agreement expires in a few years anyway and the Iranians have all their facilities and can easily be back in nuclear bombing making mode anytime they fancy.


    I think other options need to be considered. Overall Iran is a very modern and dare I say, moderate country, but it's not the moderates running things, it's the clerics and their medieval thinking.


    I would like to hear more from Trump about what he thinks should be done about Iran and its spread of evil around the region and the world, before coming to a final judgement on this.

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  • The moderates were starting to edge towards power. Trump has given ammo to the hardliners by showing that negotiation is pointless.


    Why does Saudi get away with murder? Often literally, especially if you're a Yemeni. They accuse Qatar (a country we heavily rely on for gas imports) of sponsoring terrorism with no evidence and yet have an extremely dodgy history themselves. How are they better than Iran?

  • The Qatar "issue" is interesting, but briefly (without taking the thread off topic), it seems to me that all the Arab "countries" must adhere to Saudi commands and if they don't, they get the treatment that Qatar is currently getting. There is no real group of Arab countries, in my opinion, there is just one country, Saudi Arabia, who cedes "some" power to others as it sees fit. Compared to Saudi, Qatar is very liberal.


    Who knows what's true in this part of the world? One article says that Qatar funds ISIS and the other extremists groups before it, others says its all Saudi and others say it's all Saddam's ex generals causing chaos.


    To answer your question and the whole point of your OP, Saudi is no different to Iran in many respects. Both advocate and support an extreme version of Islam that had all but died out centuries ago until a group of Egyptians decided (under British rule) to bring it back.


    This is why I want to see what Trump has to say on this issue and I'll dig up the BBC article to give us some context here. Keeping Iran nuclear free is important, but as I said, all their facilities are there and can be brought back online quickly, so the deal is poor but at least its better than the situation we face with North Korea.


    As I said, I am a interventionist, but it's western powers who created the mess that is the middle east in the first place, but I fear it will take further interventions to "correct" the mistakes of the past. If we hadn't have installed a king in Iran, the clerics may never have risen to power to begin with. Sins of the father and all that...


    In the end, I guess it depends on your definition of "rogue state."


    Iran is complying with their nuclear deal, so that doesn't make them a rogue state, corect? But what about Yemen and Iran's actions there causing potentially many millions to die of starvation? Is that not an act of a rogue state, or does the definition only apply when it effects us directly and we couldn't care less what Iran does as it long as it puts its nuclear bombs away for a few years to keep us happy. Sod the millions starving at Iran's hands...?(:rolleyes:

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  • Mod Note


    hoxton_hockler  


    I've merged your "Is one rogue state not enough for Trump" thread into here, as they deal with identical subjects.


    When creating threads, the software should suggest similar threads, if they exist, on the subject you wish to talk about. If there is an existing thread on the subject you want to discuss or very similar, please use that rather than creating a new one.


    Better to have less threads with more replies, rather than lots of very similar topics with few replies.

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  • The West may have been behind some of the problems but often a long time ago. Now we need to be there if requested e.g. Islamic State but otherwise keep out. Part of the problem there is our intervention, another part is governments and citizens blaming us for everything and not sorting things out themselves. Continued intervention, even well intentioned, will only prolong the situation.

  • I understand the point about staying out because it causes more problems than solves, but as the situation in the Middle East is by and large a Western creation, then I think it is incumbent upon us, for our own security reasons, to stay engaged.


    If there was no oil, if we didn't install the Shah in Iran etc etc, I am quite sure this region would've been volatile, it always has been. But the problems of today directly stems from western intervention and I think we need to correct the course, for their sake and ours.

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  • Iranians, unsurprisingly, have rejected religious extremism and global isolation in favour of economic progress and engagement with the world.

    That's how Hoxton started off this thread and six months later we have this:


    Some anti-establishment protests happening in Iranian cities have turned violent, video footage shows.

    They began three days ago - initially in protest at falling living standards - and are the biggest show of dissent since huge pro-reform rallies in 2009.

    Is the start of something bigger or, like the Arab spring, will it just fizzle out? The top Iranian general has threatened to crush the protests if things get worse?


    How much longer can a people be ruled over by a council of medieval clerics?

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  • The problem is ancient and rests on invasion and conquest, as usual. The Persian versus the invading Arabs. The Zoroastrians versus Islam. These things don't really go away and they ferment until they reach the point of open revolt. It's no use telling everyone to hug or trying to convince people "we are all the same", because, quite simply, we are not and the sooner liberals acknowledge diversity and their fundamental error the better.

  • It's no use telling everyone to hug or trying to convince people "we are all the same", because, quite simply, we are not and the sooner liberals acknowledge diversity and their fundamental error the better.

    Unfortunately they'll still be putting the candles, teddy bears and flowers after the latest atrocity, a thousand years from now.:rolleyes:

    History is much like an Endless Waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever.

    4312-gwban-gif

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  • The problem is ancient and rests on invasion and conquest, as usual. The Persian versus the invading Arabs. The Zoroastrians versus Islam. These things don't really go away and they ferment until they reach the point of open revolt. It's no use telling everyone to hug or trying to convince people "we are all the same", because, quite simply, we are not and the sooner liberals acknowledge diversity and their fundamental error the better.

    Don't understand how that's related to an internal Iranian issue, ie the people have had enough of the clerics ruling them.


    Many Iranians are young and compared to the neighbouring Arab countries, one in particular, have had many freedoms the Arabs can only dream of. They want more, but live in a oppressive regime. Whether that regime now begins to crack, we'll see. There's still plenty of hard-liners in that country.

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  • I'm not sure we get very far by examining the political conflicts in each Arab country. I think there is a segmentation of Arab types which exist across all of the Middle East. It is the percentage in each of those segments that differentiate one Arab country from another and these percentages are in a state of change or flux as Western values and lifestyle become, for better or worse, more influential (accelerated in the last decade by the internet).


    a) Young: progressive, freedom, enjoy life, aspirational, leaning to a US or Western Europe values and lifestyle


    b) Young: raised in austere, economically-deprived, religious and socially reactionary environment, leading to envy and resentment of a better life that is unattainable (psychologically easier to condemn what one can't obtain), leading to pseudo-religious fanaticism and terrorism


    c) Young: not in poverty stricken circumstances, yet bored, needing stimulation, adventure-seeking, naively and dangerously idealistic, self-radicalising (a Middle East equivalent of The Wild Ones: barman: what are rebelling against? Brando: what've you got?) and fiercely intolerant of those who have not joined their particular tribe / sect / caliphate (whatever it is) and are therefore non-believers (infidels), to be conquered or exterminated.


    d) Middle-aged and elderly: traditional, religiously observant, reactionary, authoritarian. disapproving, resenting or hating Western values, (fiercely) intolerant to non-Islamic religions and therefore siding with a cleric-style rulers


    e) Middle aged and elderly, but wealthy: influential (individually or as a group), observant of traditional customs but more tolerant and open-minded to a diversity of religions and lifestyles. This segment is more homogeneous and stable under enlightened rulers. Oil helps.


    I think the only hope for the Middle East is the growth of segment (a). More trade between the Middle East and the West, with more cultural exchange and less political or military interference, will encourage the growth of segment (a) and the gradual diminishment of segments (b) and (c). Segment (d) will die out naturally. Segment (e) is presently neutral-relatively harmless but might need to plan for the day when oil become less needed.

  • I'm not sure we get very far by examining the political conflicts in each Arab country.

    Agree, in part. But each country is different from one another, so shouldn't necessarily all be lumped together into the same pot.


    Note, Iran is not a Arab country.

    It is the percentage in each of those segments that differentiate one Arab country from another and these percentages are in a state of change or flux as Western values and lifestyle become, for better or worse, more influential (accelerated in the last decade by the internet).

    Very good points, but its the increasing influence of Western couture (which the internet is helped to spread) that has in part fuelled many of the problems in the Middle East as more traditional, Conservative types become more entrenched in their views which leads some to extremism.


    I think the only hope for the Middle East is the growth of segment (a). More trade between the Middle East and the West, with more cultural exchange and less political or military interference, will encourage the growth of segment (a) and the gradual diminishment of segments (b) and (c). Segment (d) will die out naturally. Segment (e) is presently neutral-relatively harmless but might need to plan for the day when oil become less needed.

    I fully agree with your hope there, but it is just that - hope. It could go the other way with more people turning to hard-line old fashioned views as they see the spread of liberal Western culture amongst their midst and wish to eradicate it.

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  • Horizon is right to point out to me that Iran is not an Arab country. It was a lazy generalisation. Truth is I'm weary and bored trying to classify the countries of the Middle East by political identity, historical origin/ancestry, geographical location, main language, religious subgroups, etc. There are softer or more fluid common-denominators or classification factors that predominate over these strict points of difference, such as degree of internal tribal warfare, medieval outlook and values, religious extremism/fanaticism, acceptance versus hostility towards Western values & lifestyle, authoritarian cleric-style rulers versus progressive enlightened ruling. These and other factors all seem to be in a state of flux or development.

  • I fully agree with your hope there, but it is just that - hope. It could go the other way with more people turning to hard-line old fashioned views as they see the spread of liberal Western culture amongst their midst and wish to eradicate it.

    I confess to wishful thinking but still believe my segment (a) represents the future and, if I'm right, it will inevitably embrace or at least tolerate Western values and the other segments will decrease or die out. In that future, an increased degree of secularism will help prevent religious differences and beliefs from becoming fractious.


    Alternatively, if segment (a) isn't the future in the Middle East, then I suspect it's Western equivalent won't be the future in the West either, in which case global order, such as it is, will go into free fall.


    Happy New Year!

  • Horizon is right to point out to me that Iran is not an Arab country. It was a lazy generalisation. Truth is I'm weary and bored trying to classify the countries of the Middle East by political identity, historical origin/ancestry, geographical location, main language, religious subgroups, etc. There are softer or more fluid common-denominators or classification factors that predominate over these strict points of difference, such as degree of internal tribal warfare, medieval outlook and values, religious extremism/fanaticism, acceptance versus hostility towards Western values & lifestyle, authoritarian cleric-style rulers versus progressive enlightened ruling. These and other factors all seem to be in a state of flux or development.

    I wasn't trying to be pedantic there, but it easy for us to put them all in the same pot and view all the people's of the Middle East as the same, which they are not.


    What is the same and I agree, that the whole region is in a state of flux, which has not only affected their region for decades but the whole world too.

    I confess to wishful thinking but still believe my segment (a) represents the future and, if I'm right, it will inevitably embrace or at least tolerate Western values and the other segments will decrease or die out. In that future, an increased degree of secularism will help prevent religious differences and beliefs from becoming fractious.

    The sooner religion dies out the better, in my opinion and I do hope you are right that the medieval ways will give way to more modern thinking and practices. But....


    Alternatively, if segment (a) isn't the future in the Middle East, then I suspect it's Western equivalent won't be the future in the West either, in which case global order, such as it is, will go into free fall.

    TBA - To be announced.


    Western liberalism has dominated the world since WW2. Brexit. Trump. The rise of the far right across Europe. The liberals wanted a global order and they may still get one, but it might not be in the mould of their choosing...


    Happy New Year!

    You too!

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  • US President Donald Trump says he will withdraw the US from an Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran.

    Calling it "decaying and rotten", he said the deal was "an embarrassment" to him "as a citizen".

    Going against advice from European allies, he said he would reimpose economic sanctions that were waived when the deal was signed in 2015.

    In response, Iran said it was preparing to restart uranium enrichment, key for making both nuclear energy and weapons.

    Boris made a last ditch attempt the other day to try and persuade the Americans not to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran, but Trump has ignored everyone and ripped the deal up, as far as America goes anyway. Was he right to do so?


    Since the OP, Iran's influence in the Middle East has grown ever more powerful with Iranian backed militants at Israel's border. Tensions are rising in the region even more than "usual."


    As I said in reply to the OP, although I think the agreement is worthwhile keeping, I agree with Trump's point of view too, but sometimes there are only so many issues you can deal with at anyone time, and a nuclear weapon free Iran is better for all.


    What next? The Iranians are going to see what the Europeans do now and I see no reason why the European countries would rip up the deal too, so perhaps this might turn into a good cop, bad cop situation. With Trump playing hard ball against Europe's softer line, this eventually might persuade Iran to ease its support for its terrorist proxies, or not.

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  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is imposing the "strongest sanctions in history" on Iran.


    In a speech in Washington, America's top diplomat said Iran would be "battling to keep its economy alive" after the sanctions took effect.

    He said he would work closely with the Pentagon and reg

    Looks like the Americans are serious about this. I still think a nuclear free Iran is a higher priority that all the other issues the West has with Iran and its region wide war making and destabilisation efforts.

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  • The Trump administration is to reinstate all US sanctions on Iran removed under the 2015 nuclear deal.

    The White House said it was "the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed" on Tehran. It targets both Iran and states that trade with it.

    However, temporary waivers will be granted to eight countries to allow them to continue importing Iranian oil.

    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the move "disgraced" US prestige and liberal democracy

    It's somewhat ironic that the autocratic, undemocratic, ayatollah talks about liberal democracy, perhaps he's starting to fancy a bit of that for his own country. Not!!


    I still think this move by Trump is a mistake. The deal isn't perfect, but it restrains Iran's nuclear activities which has always got to be the highest priority over every other grievance with the country. However, Iran spreads terrorism and death all throughout the Middle East and this needs to be challenged too and I reckon Trump will do just that.

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  • The deal/bribe to Iran to restrain their nuclear activities has not worked. Iran knows all about the West's so-called red lines, especially Obama's.


    It needs to be understood that Iran is now the country that not only has become the most powerful player is the Middle East but also the most intent on spreading Islam worldwide.


    If America doesn't stop Iran's nuclear development, Israel will. If neither of them do, then Saudi Arabia will pursue nuclear developments, financed out of their petty cash and will be entirely justified in doing so, certainly in their own minds if not in the floppy minds of those in the West who "think" it is a mistake and that red lines and sanctions will do the trick.


    For almost 100 years there has been hardly anyone in the West who understands the utter futility in trying to persuade Islam to live and let live and co-exist with Judaeo-Christianity or even those with no religious beliefs.


    For the last 100 years Islam has grown into the single biggest obstacle to world order and this is no longer a threat, the body count is rising in the Middle East and those who think it can and be contained in the region are out of their tiny mind.


    Those millions in the West who thinks Islam today is enough of a religion to pay it respect and exercise liberal-minded tolerance are dangerous fools who will ultimately have contributed to the defeat of he West.


    We seem to have reached a stage where anyone writing or voicing these thoughts is considered a crackpot, racist, scaremonger or with a political outlook that falls to the right of Attilla the Hun.


    Trump's decision is the very opposite of political and diplomatic sophistry. He has a lot of faults but that certainly isn't one of them

  • In terms of military power in the Middle East, Israel is the real power. The others aren't even close and don't forget Israel has nuclear weapons, not that they've ever officially admitted it.


    The country spreading Islam all around the world, the Wahhabi variant, is Saudi Arabia not Iran.


    I don't agree that Islam as a religion is the specific problem here. The specific problem is extremist Islamic countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia spreading terrorism and death everywhere.


    I do not think the Americans should've ripped up this deal, but I do agree that Iran needs to be held account for its wider actions in the region, or otherwise this will only lead to wider conflict with the exact neighbours you mentioned.

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  • Have you any idea how long nuclear negotiations with Iran have been going on wit America and permanent members of the UN Security Council and how many agreements have been ignored and how many red lines have not been acted upon. The so-called deal to which you refer, in spite of all its modifications and concessions made by America, was rendered void by Iran, not America. Here's an example of "progress": Negotiations started in 2003 when Iran had 130 centrifuges. Today they have about 19,000. Uranium enrichment was negotiated down to just 5% (which the West were proud to have achieved) but from that base it is easily enriched into to nuclear weaponry in just a few months. You might find that background useful in reconsidering your proposal that "I do not think the Americans should've ripped up this deal".


    As for counting who has the biggest nuclear weaponry, that really is beside the point when dealing with a country of mad buggers (or if you want to make that sound more erudite, religious fanatics).


    By contrast, Saudi Arabia is playing a much longer game, content to let the mad buggers ride point, while Saudi surreptitiously bankrolls various pockets of terrorism, all of which keeps the oil-hungry, arms-selling West in a state of anxiety and careful diplomacy, constantly seeking alliances which, when tested against pressing realities, are worth spit.


    Pre-Khomenie, Iran was moderately sane, forming alliances and respecting the sovereignty of other nations. In other words, pursuing their aims in a Westphalian manner. Coupled with that is Iran's Persian Empire heritage - the trouble is that the glory of old Persian Empire habits die hard, so that Iran still seeks to eliminate or conquer surrounding countries and become top dog in the Middle East. It's the third characterisation of Iran which is most prevalent and nightmarish today: : it is "Jihad Iran" which manifests itself by traansforming a country into a cause, viz the world-conquering ascendancy of Islam.


    In 2014, the Iranian Supreme Leader officially described the nuclear negotiations as follows:


    ".... we have no option but to continue combat to rule all of Iran's domestic and foreign affairs. Those who promote concessions are committing treason. All officials in Iran should be aware they are fighting and continuing the combat for the establishment and survival of the Islamic system ..... Jihad is never-ending because Satan and the Satanic front will exist externally".


    Against that background I'd be fascinated to know how you suggest Iran be "held to account for its wider actions and its stated intentions"

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