When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Trump's words
Trump's words
Alidad Vassigh

-Analysis-

Fox News opted for the verb "slam" to describe the first significant comments about Iran from new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. "Tillerson slams Iran nuclear deal as "failed approach,"" the conservative network headlined its story yesterday, following Tillerson's remarks about the 2015 nuclear accord inked by President Obama. But there is another verb missing so far in the storyline of Tehran and the first 100 days of the Trump administration: There has been no talk lately about "tearing up" the nuclear deal, as candidate Trump had repeatedly vowed to do during last year's campaign.

Indeed, most Iran officials greeted Tillerson's remarks with a shrug. The head of the regular army's land forces, General Kiumars Heidari said that Iran was not threatening anyone and "nobody could deny" its stabilizing role in the Middle East. He said that for the first time in decades, Washington was giving the economy preference over security concerns in U.S. foreign policy.

The semi-official ISNA news agency also carried reports citing the Speaker Of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, who said he believed the nuclear deal would remain in force, even if Iran deserved harsher sanctions. The reformist paper Aftab-e Yazd noted that in spite of his own campaign vows, and continuing pressures from some Republicans, Trump is now working in a "more peaceful and reasonable atmosphere."

The perfect interlocutor for Trump?

Like elsewhere in the world, The Trump administration has shown it can wait and even change tack if necessary. In the case of Iran, perhaps Washington is waiting to see who will become Iran's next president, in elections late next month. The field is currently led by moderate incumbent Hassan Rouhani, an architect of the nuclear accord; the more conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi; and the maverick former president hoping to return, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Though he is running in spite of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's public disapproval, Ahmadinejad has always presented himself as a plain-talking everyman. Could he be the perfect interlocutor for Trump?

As for Khamenei, his usual posture of standing firm, come what may, remains front and center. The state broadcaster IRIB cited him as telling Iranian generals earlier this week that "fear of the enemy is where misfortune begins." He then added, "verbal threats are the trick" of aggressive powers. Yes, written accords can be torn up, but supremely loud leaders everywhere also know that spoken words can be easily forgotten.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

How South American Oceans Can Sway The U.S.-China Showdown

As global rivalries and over-fishing impact the seas around South America, countries there must find a common strategy to protect their maritime backyards.

RIMPAC 2022

Juan Gabriel Tokatlian

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — As the U.S.-China rivalry gathers pace, oceans matter more than ever. This is evident just looking at the declarations and initiatives enacted concerning the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Yet there is very little debate in South America on the Sino-American confrontation and its impact on seas around South America, specifically the South-Eastern Pacific (SEP) and South-Western Atlantic (SWA). These have long ceased to be empty spaces — and their importance to the world's superpowers can only grow.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ