Trump's Saudi embrace and Iran's disdain upend Obama's vision


Trump's Saudi embrace and Iran's disdain upend Obama's vision
  1. Trump's Saudi embrace and Iran's disdain upend Obama's vision
    yourmiddleeast.com
    Pointedly delivering his first foreign speech in Riyadh on Sunday, Trump praised the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council, specifically Saudi Arabia, for efforts to cut off funding to extremists while lambasting Iran as the "spearhead of terrorism".While the unpredictable Trump completed the visit to the region without committing a major gaffe, his approach "swept away the entire Obama legacy with the wave of a hand," said Thierry Coville, an Iran expert at the French Institute for…
    Iran

Pointedly delivering his first foreign speech in Riyadh on Sunday, Trump praised the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council, specifically Saudi Arabia, for efforts to cut off funding to extremists while lambasting Iran as the "spearhead of terrorism".

While the unpredictable Trump completed the visit to the region without committing a major gaffe, his approach "swept away the entire Obama legacy with the wave of a hand," said Thierry Coville, an Iran expert at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs.

"That the United States wants to restore a certain balance in its ties with Saudi Arabia, OK, but to put Iran and the IS group on the same level is false, illogical and counter-productive," Coville told AFP.

Coville said that removing human rights concerns routinely levelled at Arab states from the centre of US foreign policy was "understandable".

But he added: "Telling (Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi) that he is doing a 'fantastic' job and saying that Saudi Arabia is a 'magnificent kingdom', while forgetting that in Iran people are making the effort to get out and vote, is very dangerous."

Hasni Abidi, head of the Geneva-based Study and Research Centre for the Arab and Mediterranean World (CERNAM), also spoke of a "break in US policy".

Obama, whose secretary of state John Kerry helped broker the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, "banked on Iran's moderate forces, (while) Trump has chosen the Sunni camp, starting with Saudi Arabia, a country with unequalled financial means," Abidi told AFP.

Washington and Riyadh agreed deals totalling some $380 billion (340 billion euros).

"But the price of regaining the confidence of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council is to portray Iran as a threat," Abidi added.

He noted that Washington still depends on Iran for cooperation in Iraq against IS and in Afghanistan against the Taliban, and Trump has "shown caution so far".

Coville went further, calling Trump's speech a "smokescreen" aimed at "making people forget that he is in the process of validating the nuclear accord".

Don't miss out on great stories!

We're on a mission to show you the real Middle East.

Signup to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

  •    
  • Follow @YourMiddleEast

He also noted that Iran Air, in Tehran's first deal with a US aviation group since the 1979 Islamic revolution, finalised in December a contract worth $16.6 billion to purchase 80 Boeing planes.

Paris-based political scientist Azadeh Kian said authorities in Tehran had not taken Trump's Riyadh speech seriously, pointing to a tweet by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying that Washington was "milking" Saudi Arabia.

But she said it was "worrying, especially after an election... that showed that there is a real dynamic towards democratisation and opening in Iranian society."

- 'More hope than experience' -

Meanwhile Trump's call for Israelis and Palestinians to "make a deal"…

  1. For China’s global ambitions, ‘Iran is at the center of everything’ - NewYork Times

    En.alalam.ir - Iran
    07.25 / 08:25 en.alalam.ir
    When Zuao Ru Lin, a Beijing entrepreneur, first heard about business opportunities in eastern Iran, he was skeptical. But then he bought a map and began to envision the region without any borders, as one enormous market. “Many countries are close by, even Europe,” Mr. Lin, 49, said while driving his white BMW over the highway connecting Tehran to the eastern Iranian city of Mashhad recently. “Iran is at the center of every…
  2. Iran: Trump administration is breaking Iranian law by holding its citizens as prisoners

    En.alalam.ir - Iran
    07.25 / 08:25 en.alalam.ir
    Iran's most senior judge has dismissed demands that his country release a number of U.S. prisoners and, instead, urged the U.S. to free all Iranian citizens under its custody and billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets held up by…
  3. New UAE Documentary Claims Qatar Complicit in 9/11 Attacks

    En.alalam.ir - Iran
    07.25 / 06:24 en.alalam.ir
    Deported camels. Rerouted planes. Just when you thought the Persian Gulf crisis couldn’t get any more absurd, a media outlet linked to the Abu Dhabi ruling family has announced the release of a documentary claiming that Qatar was behind the Sept. 11 terrorist a…
  4. ‘Only way out of terrorism is to abandon instrumental use’

    En.mehrnews.com - Iran
    07.25 / 05:42 en.mehrnews.com
    TEHRAN, Jul. 24 (MNA) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi, while condemning the terrorist blast in Lahore city of Pakistan, said the only way to get out of terrorism is to abandon instrumental use of t…
  5. Hajj preparations going on without trouble: Iranian official

    En.alalam.ir - Iran
    07.25 / 05:27 en.alalam.ir
    An Iranian official dismissed reports raising public concern about participation of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj, saying required preparations are being made and the first group of pilgrims will fly to Saudi Arabia on July 3…
  6. US sanctions bolstered Iran-Russia ties

    En.mehrnews.com - Iran
    07.25 / 05:10 en.mehrnews.com
    TEHRAN, Jul. 25 (MNA) – The US sanctions on Iran and Russia have bolstered bilateral cooperation between the two countries despite Washington’s intention, a Russian official said Mon…
  7. Confronting Takfiri groups demands coherent action

    En.mehrnews.com - Iran
    07.25 / 04:59 en.mehrnews.com
    TEHRAN, Jul. 25 (MNA) – Iran’s SNSC head Shamkhani said combatting formation and expansion of terrorist and Takfiri groups required coherent and coordinated action of all neighboring cou…
  8. Turkey's Erdogan ends tour with no sign of Qatar progress

    En.alalam.ir - Iran
    07.25 / 04:24 en.alalam.ir
    Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan left Qatar on Monday after two days in the Persian Gulf trying to mediate in the worst row among Arab states for years but there was no sign he had made any…
  9. A Canadian man found guilty of having 25 wives - AP

    En.alalam.ir - Iran
    07.25 / 04:24 en.alalam.ir
    Two former leaders of an isolated polygamous community in Canada were convicted Monday of practicing polygamy after a decades-long legal fight, setting up another potential court battle over the constitutionality of Canada's polygamy…
  10. Pres. Rouhani underlines govt.'s full support for IRGC

    En.mehrnews.com - Iran
    07.25 / 04:19 en.mehrnews.com
    TEHRAN, Jul. 25 (MNA) – President Hassan Rouhani emphasized full support of the government for IRGC services in its mission in a meeting with the senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guards C…
  11. Iran: US sanctions on IRGC strategic mistake

    Theiranproject.com - Iran
    07.24 / 22:09 theiranproject.com
    IRNA – Any US Sanctions against the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) would be a strategic mistake, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi warned on Monday. “Our position would be…
  12. Security of Iran, Afghanistan intertwined, inseparable: Shamkhani

    Theiranproject.com - Iran
    07.24 / 22:09 theiranproject.com
    Press TV – A senior Iranian official says the security of the Islamic Republic is “intertwined with and inseparable from” that of Afghanistan, stressing the need for more bilateral consultations and e…
  13. Hajj preparations going on without trouble: Iranian official

    Theiranproject.com - Iran
    07.24 / 22:09 theiranproject.com
    Tasnim – An Iranian official dismissed reports raising public concern about participation of Iranian pilgrims in this year’s Hajj, saying required preparations are being made and the first group of…
  14. Qasemi: Iran serious in confronting occupation of Al-Aqsa mosque

    Theiranproject.com - Iran
    07.24 / 22:09 theiranproject.com
    IRNA — Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Monday that Iran has adopted a very clear stance about occupation of Palestine, the crimes and atrocities of the Zionist…
  15. Iran confiscates 30 horses, mules carrying weapons

    Theiranproject.com - Iran
    07.24 / 22:09 theiranproject.com
    AP – Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency is reporting that the country’s border guards have confiscated 30 horses and mules that were carrying weapons and ammunition. The Monday report…
  16. Iran Accuses U.S. of Violating Nuke Deal After White House Imposes Missile-Related Sanctions

    Thetower.org - Iran
    07.24 / 22:06 thetower.org
    A senior Iranian official accused the United States on Saturday of violating the 2015 nuclear deal by sanctioning the Islamic Republic over its illicit ballistic missile program. “Undoubtedly, the U.S. breach of the [nuclear deal] won’t go unanswered,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s state-owned PressTV reported. Iran is bringing a [̷…
  17. Para archers win title at World Ranking Tournament

    En.mehrnews.com - Iran
    07.24 / 15:06 en.mehrnews.com
    TEHRAN, Jul. 24 (MNA) – Iran’s para archery outfit secured 11 medals in individual and teams sections of Para-Archery World Ranking Tournament to win the title at the international event in Czech Rep…
  18. Afghan Migrant Workers in Iran: Continuing Struggle and Exploitation

    En.radiozamaneh.com - Zamaneh
    07.24 / 11:46 en.radiozamaneh.com
    This short report is based on field observation and research inside Iran and paints the picture of the situation of Afghan migrant workers in…
  19. Jaberi-Ansari, Ammar Hakim meet in Baghdad

    En.mehrnews.com - Iran
    07.24 / 11:36 en.mehrnews.com
    TEHRAN, Jul. 24 (MNA) – Iranian Deputy FM Hossein Jaberi-Ansari held a meeting with Head of the National Iraqi Alliance (NIA) Ammar Hakim on Monday in B…
  20. Qatari websites unblocked in Saudi due to technical glitch

    En.alalam.ir - Iran
    07.24 / 11:21 en.alalam.ir
    Websites and some television channels linked to Qatar were unblocked in Saudi Arabia on Monday morning but the change arose from a technical glitch and the restrictions will be reimposed shortly, a key Saudi royal court adviser…