Donald Trump

  • Is Trump Just an Excuse for Khamenei’s Rejectionism?

    Iran shot down a US military drone near the Persian Gulf, increasing fears of an armed conflict between Tehran and Washington. Against this backdrop, the path to talks between the two governments appears blocked. 

    President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign ostensibly aims to force Iran to come to the negotiating table and strike a new deal, including bigger and more long-lasting restrictions on its nuclear and missile programs and an end to support for proxy groups. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has so far vehemently opposed new direct talks with the Americans.

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  • Building on Past Experience, Iran Leads the Waltz With the US

    During 2013, Iran seized on a rare opportunity to talk directly with the United States for a new round of nuclear negotiations. European countries speaking at the time to Iran to cap its nuclear program asked the US, which had been part of the nuclear talks since 2006, to join in fresh discussions with Iran. The P5+1 talks that followed between Iran and the US—along with Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia—came with a promise that the countries would not tighten the multilateral sanctions regime against Tehran if an agreement was reached. The arrangement led to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    Iran was enticing the US to talk once again this past month, by withdrawing some of its obligations under the nuclear deal in May. The two countries had a falling out after US President Donald Trump pulled...

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  • May and Trump Attempt to Show United Transatlantic Front

    US President Donald J. Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the strong alliance between their two countries on June 4, while downplaying divisions on issues such as China and Iran.

    Speaking at a joint press conference in London on Trump’s official state visit to the United Kingdom, both leaders used the upcoming 75th anniversary of the World War Two invasion of Normandy to highlight the historic bond between the two nations. “Our special relationship is grounded in common history, values, customs, culture, language, and laws,” Trump said, adding that both countries believe that “the defense of our nations does not begin on the battlefield, but within the heart of every patriot.”


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  • Is Iran Running Out of Patience With Nuclear Agreements?

    Ever since the Trump administration came to office, it has been applying pressure on Iran without provoking a new proliferation crisis. But the days of Donald Trump having his baklava, so to speak, and eating it too may be drawing to a close.

    In a series of public and private appearances last week in New York—on the sidelines of a UN preparatory meeting for a 2020 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made clear that Iran’s patience with the Trump administration and the international community may be coming to an end. 

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  • Which Biblical Iranian Character Are You?

    Those of us who use social media as a means of procrastination are familiar with the “Which… Are You?” tests. These quizzes are obviously not exact. This author was classified as a Hufflepuff when she obviously should have been a Ravenclaw, while Ringo Starr took the “Which Beatle Are You?” test and got John Lennon. 

    It seems that the currently trending quiz is “Which Biblical Iranian Character Is Donald Trump?” In late March, while the Jewish people celebrated Purim, the Feast of Lots—which commemorates events described in the Biblical Book of Esther—US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel, and the media feasted with the headlines such as: “Mike Pompeo said it’s possible that Trump is the modern-day Esther,” “Holy ...

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  • Mueller’s Findings: What Do They Mean for US Foreign Policy?

    Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s long-awaited investigation has not found adequate evidence to prove US President Donald J. Trump or any of his aides colluded with the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 election. The investigation did not determine “one way or the other” whether Trump had illegally obstructed justice, according to a letter delivered to Congress by US Attorney General William Barr.


    Barr made a summary of Mueller’s findings public on March 24.


    “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller wrote in the findings released by the Justice Department.


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  • As Trump Addresses the Nation, What Will He Say About the World?

    US President Donald J. Trump will deliver his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on February 5. US presidents often use State of the Unions to make their case for new legislative agendas and justify previous decisions.

    While domestic issues such as immigration and a potential deal to avert another government shutdown will likely dominate the speech, foreign policy issues will also be addressed extensively, especially as Trump navigates new global crises and tries to position the United States in a new era of geopolitical competition. Here are the issue areas to watch as Trump addresses the nation:


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  • The Best Ukraine Can Hope for with Russia in 2019

    Donald Trump has been president of the United States for two years, but it remains uncertain whether he has a Ukraine policy. His administration does, but Trump is famously superficial in his knowledge.

    Trump has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, hardly said anything negative about Russia, and insisted on the need to cut sanctions to improve relations with Russia. Trump has had numerous phone calls with Putin that have not been reported and two scandalous private meetings with Putin from which nothing has become known.

    In practice, US policy on Russia has been tough.


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  • Washington and Its Friends Are More United Than You Think

    US President Donald Trump has an uncanny ability to divide both Americans and the United States from its democratic allies. The first two years of his administration have seen intense polarization within the United States and unprecedented slights against American friends around the world. Despite these divisions, the United States and its allies are more strategically aligned in grand strategy – endorsed by Republicans and Democrats – than they have been since 9/11, if not 1989.


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  • Markets are Underestimating the Long-term Impact of Trump’s Fight with China

    This much is clear as 2018 screeches toward a close:

    President Trump’s foreign policy has shredded the status quo on a range of issues, from global trade and transatlantic relations to Iran and North Korea.

    Yet it is the Trump administration’s tough turn on China, captured dramatically by Vice President Mike Pence’s landmark speech at the Hudson Institute in October , that will have the most lasting global consequence, altering the terms of the epochal contest of our times.


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