Monday, May 14, 2018

TRUMP AGENDA - Iran Nuclear Deal

Increased U.S. world political isolation.

"How Iran might respond to U.S. withdrawing from the nuclear deal" PBS NewsHour 5/8/2018


SUMMARY:  From nuclear deal to no deal, President Trump on Tuesday made good on his vow to get out of the 2015 agreement with Iran -- his predecessor’s signature foreign policy achievement.  Nick Schifrin looks back at Trump’s determination to derail the deal, and then joins William Brangham to discuss what happens in Iran now.

"Trump’s Iran deal announcement leaves ‘America alone,’ Sen. Kaine says" PBS NewsHour 5/8/2018


SUMMARY:  President Trump's announcement that the U.S. is leaving the Iran nuclear deal is going to raise the risk of unnecessary war in the Middle East, says Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va).  A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kaine also tells William Brangham that the decision has driven a wedge between the U.S. and European allies, and makes the U.S. weaker.

"Ehud Barak: Iran nuclear deal is bad, but Trump’s withdrawal not ‘optimal’" PBS NewsHour 5/8/2018


SUMMARY:  President Donald Trump made good on his campaign promise Tuesday with the announcement that the U.S. would leave the Iran nuclear agreement.  But America’s exit does not cancel the deal altogether, Ehud Barak, the former Israeli Defense Minister and Prime Minister, told PBS NewsHour correspondent William Brangham.

Barak said he thought the 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was “ a bad deal when it was made” — something Trump also said as he signed a memorandum terminating U.S. participation in the Iran agreement.

“But once it was signed it became a matter of fact,” Barak said, adding that he wasn’t sure Trump’s decision was the best way to make changes to the agreement, and that he believed the deal's six other signatories would stay in the pact.

Here are some other highlights from the interview, tied to the release of Barak's 2018 memoir, “My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace.”

William Brangham (NewsHour):  The other thing that really comes through in your book is that Israel continues and must find some resolution to how it deals with the Palestinians.

As you well know, the government in Israel has very much right now a fortress Israel position.  Do you have any sense of hope that the resolution with the Palestinians will come?

Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister:  Yes, of course.  I have not just hope.  I’m quite confident it will happen.

The government of Israel, it’s a freely elected government.  It’s my government as well.  But I did dispute with them about what is good for the country, especially in the last three years, with Bibi more and more deeply diving into this mind-set of extreme pessimism, passivity, anxiety and self-victimizing mood, which is a quite good recipe for practical domestic politics, but very poor one for statesmanship.

I think that we are heading — beyond these daily events, we are heading into a direction which is clearly wrong.  The intention of this government, led and directed by extreme right, is to torpedo any possibility of separation or disengagement between us and the Palestinians.

This leads us basically into one state named Israel covering or reigning over the whole area from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan.  But that means, because we are 13 million people there, 6.5 million Jews and 6.5 million Arabs.

William Brangham :  Yes, the demographics are not in your favor.

Ehud Barak:  It means — yes, it means that it will end inevitably either non-Jewish or non-democratic.  Neither is

And based on our successes, we — you know, founding of the state of Israel is the most successful national project of the 20th century.  We have a huge amount of achievements.

But, based on these achievements, we are the strongest country, and we can take our fate in our hands.  I am not caring about the Palestinians.  I am caring about our own identity, future, and security.

And our interests demand that we will disengage from the Palestinians, delineate a line within which we will have all our security interests, most of the settlers, and a solid Jewish majority for generations to come.

I always follow — I used to quote Robert Frost saying good fences make good neighbors.  And we need it in the Middle East.  Never lose the focus on the objective and on understanding.  Whether it takes time, more or less time, we will ultimately reach a normal situation in the Middle East.

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