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Trump's summit with Arab leaders a show: Iran

26 May 2017

The JCPOA was the outcome of protracted negotiations over more than a decade, during which Iran had steadily built up its nuclear capabilities, especially in the enrichment domain, and in 2015 was estimated to be only months away from acquiring enough Highly Enriched Uranium to produce one device (approximately 25 kg) though Iran consistently maintained that its programme was exclusively for peaceful purposes.

That approach - and the diplomacy and nuclear accord it spawned - did little to endear Obama to leaders in Israel or Saudi Arabia.

But how far it really promises to shake up the sterile politics of the region is unclear. The sanctions relief has had a positive impact on the economy with oil exports up and GDP growth hitting 6% past year though expectations were higher.

Mr Tillerson is in Israel today with Mr Trump and will continue travelling with the president to the Vatican, Brussels for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, and Italy for the group of seven meeting. At the same time, President Trump has threatened to renegotiate the deal, the nuclear deal with Iran.

He was less flattering in his assessment of the Trump administration so far. "The poor things have never seen a ballot box".

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Rowhani retaliated by criticizing Trump's leadership. Raisi's campaign, which focused on a mix of religious conservatism, economic populism and an isolationist foreign policy, seemed to appeal to the Iranian masses and also consolidate support across a broad spectrum of Iranian society. This current trip is in large part ceremonial, it is very early in his presidency to be putting a toe into Middle Eastern waters. The Trump scandals, real or mostly imagined, aren't going to go away no matter where the president goes, but the events in Riyadh were a promising focus on foreign policy that needed attention and fix after Barack Obama's destructive leadership from behind. When they attacked Iraq, they made a mistake.

The Trump administration's nearly brash belief in the possibilities of a wider Middle East peace seem to be at variance with most experts who know the region well. "It will make them (rulers) stronger".

Some have argued that rather than focusing on a comprehensive deal that would have to resolve the hard questions like Jerusalem and refugees, the goal should be less ambitious; an interim deal that might mark the re-starting of a longer term diplomatic process. "Under different circumstances, USA media would have been alerted", said Mr Hammond.

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry also dismissed the recent anti-Iran claims by the United States officials as "hostile and baseless", the ministry's website reported. Just what is the Trump administration's policy towards Tehran?

He also ridiculed the $110 billion arms deal the United States and Saudi Arabia announced during Trump's visit, suggesting it was Saudi Arabia's way of making amends for the September 11 attacks.

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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

"While, a senior at the York University of Toronto expressed that there are many issues now plaguing the Iranian people, including a lack of human rights protections specifically relating to freedom of speech and women's rights".

Sanders also did not mention that the president's power is limited inside Iran, according to analysts. That may not go down well in Washington.

Where Trump is headed with such rhetoric can only be guessed at.

It is all the more ironic because Iran is the one country that is opposed to the Islamic State.

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