- Iran: Eight Prisoners Hanged on Drug Charges
- Daughter of late Iranian president jailed for ‘spreading lies’
- IRAN: Annual report on the death penalty 2016
- Taheri Facing the Death Penalty Again
- Dedicated team seeking return of missing agent in Iran
- Iran Arrests 2, Seizes Bibles During Catholic Crackdown
- Trump to welcome Netanyahu as Palestinians fear U.S. shift
- Details of Iran nuclear deal still secret as US-Tehran relations unravel
- Will Trump's Next Iran Sanctions Target China's Banks?
- Don’t ‘tear up’ the Iran deal. Let it fail on its own.
- Iran Has Changed, But For The Worse
- Iran nuclear deal ‘on life support,’ Priebus says
- Female Activist Criticizes Rouhani’s Failure to Protect Citizens
- Iran’s 1st female bodybuilder tells her story
- Iranian lady becomes a Dollar Millionaire on Valentine’s Day
- Two women arrested after being filmed riding motorbike in Iran
- 43,000 Cases of Child Marriage in Iran
- Woman Investigating Clinton Foundation Child Trafficking KILLED!
- Senior Senators, ex-US officials urge firm policy on Iran
- In backing Syria's Assad, Russia looks to outdo Iran
- Six out of 10 People in France ‘Don’t Feel Safe Anywhere’
- The liberal narrative is in denial about Iran
- Netanyahu urges Putin to block Iranian power corridor
- Iran Poses ‘Greatest Long Term Threat’ To Mid-East Security
Tuesday 17 January 2017
In an interview with British and German press over the weekend, President-elect Donald Trump roiled European capitals for repeating his skepticism of the NATO alliance, support for Brexit and criticism of Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, for accepting "illegal" refugees into her country by the hundreds of thousands.
But Trump was disciplined in his silence on his plans for Israel and Iran— two critical portfolios that were rallying cries for his supporters during his campaign as forces of good and evil.
On Iran— and the nuclear deal he has long called the worst diplomatic agreement brokered in modern history– Trump reiterated his concerns with the deal. Beyond that, he declined to comment.
"I don’t want to say what I’m gonna do with the Iran deal. I just don’t want to play the cards," he said. "I mean, look—I’m not a politician, I don’t go out and say, ‘I’m gonna do this — I’m gonna do —’. I gotta do what I gotta do. But I don’t wanna play. Who plays cards where you show everybody the hand before you play it?"
While Trump said during his campaign that he would rip up the nuclear agreement, his national security cabinet posts all testified this week before the Senate that they would advise strict enforcement. He has not commented on their testimonies or on Iran policy since.
Similarly, Trump offered strategic opacity on whether he truly plans to move America's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem— a move that has been discussed extensively by his staff in private and in public, and was touted by his choice for Israel ambassador, David Friedman, as one of his top priorities.
"I don’t want to comment on that, again, but we’ll see what happens," Trump said of his embassy plans.
With these two crucial countries, Trump is putting his doctrine of unpredictability to the test— preserving for himself space and flexibility just days before taking the oath of office.
Trump has laid out broad strokes for policy on the Middle East— embracing of Israel, hostile to Iran and aggressive against non-state Islamist organizations.
But now, mere hours away from the presidency, Trump is offering more caution– an acknowledgment, perhaps, of the challenges that lay before him in a complex region and of the policy nuance that will be required for him to make progress.