Back to blog

Donald Trump gives the Iran nuclear deal a “last chance”

See blog

Readers' comments

The Economist welcomes your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful of other readers. Review our comments policy.

JT302

“They have yet to figure out how to work constructively with him, to shape the sort of world order that is to his tastes.”
a. you can’t work constructively with someone who doesn’t want to work constructively with you.
b. are you kidding? the coward is a neo-nazi. there’s no working with him to shape the world order to his tastes.
c. “if he’s not bluffing”? of course he’s bluffing. that’s what cowards do.
a nuclear capable iran is a threat to world peace, which in turn is a threat to everything trump’s so-called “America first” agenda wants to ostensibly pursue, i.e. zero-sum enrichment of the american white working class by bullying a prosperous world into believing trump is prepared to blow up the global stability white nationalism – and trump’s own enterprises – are dependent upon to feed their avarice for a preponderant share of global economic wealth. this, not hitler-like military conquest, is what the new (neo) nazis are all about. hence, a dangerous & chaotic world is not conducive to trump’s personal & political bottom line. ideology, religion, and territoriality have created more wars than any other motive. we should be thankful trump is a creature of none of these but a greedy, cowardly neo-nazis in the sense that I am using it here. as with all bullies, one must be assertive and willing to call their bluff. and trump is nothing if not a bullying bluff.

guest-ismaowj

Mr Trump should have torn up the nuclear agreement and thrown it into the nearest dustbin. The Europeans with many of their industries on the verge of bankruptcy need Iran to sell their goods and services. The Europeans care two hoots for the human rights violation, religious minorities persecution and discrimination, terrorist sponsoring and funding activities, missiles development program of the Mullah regime. Not a whimper was uttered from European leaders regarding the recent anti regime demonstrations which took place in Iran recently and was put down with brute force. The excuse given was that if there is any outside support for the demonstrations it would adversely affect the anti regime movement and play into the hands of the hardliners in Iran who would have an excuse to accuse the demonstrators as foreign agents. This ploy has been put out by the regimes supporters so that the western media and governments would be subdued in their media coverage on what was happening in Iran. As soon as the nuclear agreement was agreed with Iran The Europeans rushed headlong to make trade deals with Iran with Germany in the lead. Mr Obama was fooled by the Europeans in agreeing to the nuclear deal. Mr Trump and the US Congress take note that the regime in Iran cannot be trusted.

Timothy D. Naegele

The Economist's Washington bureau chief should be fired immediately.

To describe President Trump’s policies as "disastrous," and our president as "this most alarming of American leaders," demonstrates biases beyond all reason. No one should ever take this person's writings seriously again, nor should any readers respect a publication that retains the services of such a misfit.

Barack Obama is the worst president in America's history, and a pure racist. President Trump is trying to remedy the monumental and treasonous policies that Obama put into place. Indeed, it is possible that Obama will go to prison, along with Hillary and Bill Clinton and their cronies.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy... ("The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin") (see also the comments beneath the article)

Also, the writer and proofreaders at the Economist seem unable to write basic English: "In the absence of an agreement in which Congress and European allies six [sic] 'significant flaws' . . . ." The word is "fix," not "six."

Europe is disintegrating, as we write these words. If its countries want to take in immigrants from all over the world, without any restrictions, be our guests. You can have them . . . for soon, they will be deciding your policies; and a once-vibrant European "civilization" will no longer exist.

And no, Americans do not covet the love of Europeans. Indeed, without us, most of you would be speaking German today, instead of merely having Germany rule you via the EU.

kiratwan in reply to Timothy D. Naegele

You should appreciate that the reporter was polite. He could have
described Trump in words that are not printable. Trump has made
it clear there should be psychological test for presidential candidates.
If done in 2016, Trump could have been ruled out.

Timothy D. Naegele in reply to kiratwan

Barack Obama committed treason, and is a racist.

Bill Clinton is a sexual predator, like Hollywood's Harvey Weinstein; and Hillary Clinton has consistently attacked Bill's victims, viciously.

The Kennedys were even worse.

We have zero problems with our President; and he will be reelected in 2020.

After all, the "face" of the opposition Democrats consists of Chuck Schumer; the demented Nancy Pelosi; Elizabeth Warren; racists like Maxine Waters; and others like them.

kiratwan

Why would any country negotiate a treaty with US. One US administration
will do and the next one denounce it as unacceptable and abrogate
it.Europeans can bend if they want but Iran won't do. They haven't
seen much benefit from the deal as the European banks are scared
of US sanctions. As Jack Straw, former foreign secretary of UK,
suggested that Europeans need to ring fence their companies
to protect from American laws and the sanctions. It is so absurd
that UK decided to exit EU to reclaim the sovereignty just to face
consequences of American laws.

RealJournalism in reply to kiratwan

The US middle eastern policy has been corrupted by Israel for many many years.
Israelis pushed for war on Iraq and now they push for war on Iran. In fact, if there is no deal, the only viable option to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapon would be war.

guest-ismaowj in reply to RealJournalism

This talk of Israel US Middle East policy being corrupted is propaganda put out by the Mullah Iran. Mullah Iran was brought down to its knees by the sanctions and was on the verge of being replaced. The Mullahs had two options. One come to the negotiating table and the other continue with the nuclear activity and risk the change in the regime. The Mullahs opted for the first option to stay alive. Under the table deals with the Europeans ensuring them of lucrative deals in Iran led the Europeans give in to all of Iran's demands and convince Mr Obama that once the deal was signed the Mullahs would fall in line. Instead of falling in line the Mullahs have been emboldened as evidenced by their destabilising activities in the Middle East and elsewhere. The threat that the Mullah will start the nuclear activities is propaganda and a hollow threat because if the sanctions are back the Mullahs will not last long given the recent demonstrations which the European Media was very subdued in reporting.

Hal Donahue

Trump and his hardliners’ appeasement needs to be shown for stupid extremism. The West’s greatest victory with little blood split was the Cold War. Essentially, one long series of what conservatives called appeasement even when the actions were taken by Thatcher and Reagan

irnerius

The reasonable western states jusr have to stick to their policy and pull it through. DT in his ultimate position will follow since he flip-flopped on so many times. America First only works on cooperation with allies without he singles himself out.

Wamboin

It seems to me that the rest of the world need to take Trump seriously, in the sense that the rest of the world is stuck with him for his first period in office, and it is conceivable that he might get a second. While it is not clear that those who follow him will share all his attitudes, there is a real risk that they might not return to the older pattern of trying (at least in part) to offer world leadership. While the paranoia that he has displayed about Iran, and the U.S.'s willingness to use its control of international banking arrangements as a weapon, are surely enough to prompt the rest of us to think that we should look after our own interests, and to be willing to pay the costs for this. (My reference to international banking relates to the fact that Iran has not benefited in the way that was expected from the dropping of the nuclear-related sanctions, because of the effects of other U.S. sanctions. These have had the effect of cutting off trade possibilities, and of making it more difficult for young people in Iran to get ready access to the Western cultural products that they crave, and which would make such a difference for sensibilities in Iran in the longer term.) I'd argue for the importance of the EU, other countries such as the UK, and also China, to develop their common interests, but also to offer an alternative - and
genuinely neutral and thus sanction-free- alternative to the U.S.-based financial arrangements (and also to IT). If the U.S. continues with its pursuit of its own interests against those of others, it may even give the UK an opportunity to offer an alternative English-language culture to the rest of the world - perhaps more acceptable once it finally turns its back on imperialist fantasies.

gunn

Wonderful that the Europeans believe this is the best deal possible.The deal was structured in order to allow Iran’s
revolutionary guard to continue as the world leading supporter of terrorism and Iran may at a more leasurly pace continue to develop nuclear weapons.Finally German industrialists were the first in doing business with the current regime.Does any one know why this turned out to the best deal possible or was there pressure from industrialists to get a deal so they would have access to Iranian markets.

DarkLeo78

Poor Iran. Just as America thought it had screwed Iran enough for 4 decades of war and economic sanctions, Trump landed up. He, an old man, lived through the humiliation of the Jimmy Carter years. Instead of shutting up, the Mad Persians in power are threatening to teach America a lesson. I always felt that Iranians were thick headed, but provoking America should not be an option for the leaders of an impoverished country. Your Petrol and Natural Gas reserves can still bring some change in your pathetic economy. The Islamic Republic of Iran is MAD. They haven't learnt their lesson. With such huge oil and gas reserves they remained pathetically poor without any modern technology for the 4 decades when Oil was Black GOLD. Even China and the Saudi's take it easy when Donald boy talks. All of us from India, Pakistan, Philippines, to Japan bend. This ensures some measure of continued hope for the future of our country in terms of a military, economic and social power. Oh, now President Trump is coming after you, and he gives two hoots for European opinion. He will hurt you where it cripples. Your economy. Now that he knows that your kids are upset and have lost faith in their God and Religion, who know what the blood hounds of the CIA will do next in Iran. You guys are now a chapter in History of a failed state along with the MAD Islamic republic of Pakistan who thankfully have no oil or gas reserves. 7% growth rates in India, along with solar power, EV's and Israeli Friendship is rocking the Persian Gulf region under the rule of Hindu Fanatics who now believe in some kind of divine destiny for their ilk. Trump is gleefully propping them up militarily, along with Japan against China in the Indian Ocean. We Asians need to accept the new reality, and make sure President Trump doesn't get angrier than he already is. This is our reality, and we do have a choice of insanity like the crazy Iranians or to learn to keep our mouths shut. Look at North Koreans. They have worms in their stomachs. They are feeling the wrath of Trump. Iranian idiots don't understand that.

Sina63

Mutual trust, either between the society and its leaders or between the nations, is a bonding factor in the modern societies. Many Iranians (regardless of their political views) have lost their trust in the Western world governments. Mr Trump’s constant rage over the nuclear deal undermines the credibility of any international agreement! He did not certify Iran’s commitment to the deal, despite all positive notes from the IAEA and requests from his allies in Europe. This strengthens the position of hardliners who blame Mr Rouhani for trusting the West, and discourages many ordinary citizens. How can Trump or anyone else expect any positive outcome here?!

DarkLeo78

Iran is getting screwed by President Trump for the resounding humiliation of Jimmy Carter, America's nicest President. His wife wrote a powerful and moving autobiography of how Iran hurt her. Those guys as students were some of the richest guys in India during the 70's, with all the pretty girls flocking to them. The MAD ayatollah has no idea of good economics, and God and Religion have been weakened in Iran due to the dire straits their youngsters live in. Those guys who get a chance to come to India tell us about their pitiable state. They are so happy to be in India in 2017. Any kind of an Islamic State is a nightmare to live in. Now they understand how suicidal it was to humiliate America. Even Vietnam didn't do that. My God, that country must a one of those shitholes Trump talks about. Unbelievable for the brightest star, the original emerging economy of the 70's. The proud Persians reduced to pathetic hopelessness, except for the madmen who proclaim the Islamic Republic, and dig the holes of the graves of their youngsters. Religion needs to be kept at home. It shouldn't be a part of National Agenda. I hope India learns that.

RealJournalism in reply to DarkLeo78

Jimmy Carter, the man you call the nicest president, sided with Ayatollahs against the Shah of iran. The so-called "nicest president" was just an idiot.
Also, Iranians did not humiliate America. Iranians humiliated themselves by holding the US diplomats hostage.This was a coward act.
Having said that, I believe, the US should stand with Iranians who fight the Islamic regime and stay in the nuclear deal.

teacup775 in reply to RealJournalism

Carter didn’t side. He told the Shah to back off brutal repression. Carter paid the price for the enmity the Shah’s rule generated.

The US deposed and destroyed the Democratic goverment of Iran and put the Shah in power to preserve American oil interests.

Ronald Reagan funded the Taliban as “freedom fighters”. He cut and ran in Beruit.

Follow the thread of history in the region. Nobody comes up roses or looking smart.

RealJournalism in reply to teacup775

"He told Shah to back off brutal repression."

What have been the consequences of what Carter allegedly told Shah? The most brutal Islamic regime came to power which executed tens of thousands of political dissidents.

How many Iranians were living during the Shah regime in the US? How many living now? Isn't that so that the majority of Iranians left the their home country after the mullahs took over Iran? In other words, the mullahs changed Iran to a "shithole"

By the way, did Carter also tell Saudis to back off brutal repression?

My be the US brought Shah to power, but Shah was progressive, he improved the quality of lives of his people and was friend of the West.
Good luck with Ayatollahs!

teacup775 in reply to RealJournalism

The Shah had prisons filled with people he tortured. When he was our ally, we couldn't very well take his political prisoners. That changed with the Alaytollas.

A war with Iraq created a lot of refugees. Sanctions have made economy more of a challenge.

The swelling of people in Iran that overthrew the Shah, says different from your opinion. It was a public uprising.

However, you seem to have an overt fixation on Carter. Must be because he is a devout Christian Baptist, a farmer, served in the military (nuke subs), actually has morals, having been married to his wife, and heads an organisation that helps provide home ownership.

RealJournalism in reply to teacup775

Once again, did Carter do anything when Khomeini executed thousands of political dissidents in Iran? The answer is no. He failed to see the hostage crisis was coming, and he was clearly incapable of managing that crisis.

Also, being a devot Christian Baptist, a farmer, etc. are excellent, but are not enough to qualify one as president. I believe, Carter's efforts to make peace between Israelis and Egypt were great; however, with respect to Iran, he just screwed up.

teacup775 in reply to RealJournalism

But I don’t care about your opinion. If you’re going to get on the mistake blame train there’s an endless history of mistakes from any admin to choose from.

History is filled with looking the other way. Picking on Carter is laughable.

Clement P

"...appeasement of an Islamic regime that funds terrorist groups, armed militants and rebel factions across the Middle East and wider region, while pursuing ballistic missile programmes that put Israel and other American allies in harm’s way."

Is he wrong? Carter and Clinton didn't exactly set a good precedent with North Korea...

RealJournalism in reply to Clement P

"Is he wrong?"
Yes he is wrong!
The US allies in that region are mostly war criminals and probably worse than mullahs. This is why the Islamic dictatorship in Iran has more influence than the US and its allies all together. Gurgling Netanyahu's crap, Trump implements an even more radical version of what has been for the past several decades the US policy in the Middle East.

CaptainRon in reply to Clement P

So you would go back to the days under Bush when Iran ramped up its nuclear program with the US able to do nothing. Negotiations have to be give and take. The US cannot expect Iran to give up its nuclear program without anything in return. A lot of political hay was launched when Obama negotiated to lift sanctions and return some of their money to them, claiming it was actually American taxpayer money. Trump wants to kill the deal based on two things, an irrational need to reverse anything that Obama did and to call out Iran on its troublemaking in the region, which is a separate issue. Killing the deal in which the Iranians are in compliance with based upon other factors sets a bad precedent.

Swiss Reader

Mr. Trump's supporters (at least those I have met) are already convinced that America is alone in a hostile world; that's why they have voted for him. The more that sense of loneliness appears to be justified, the better for Mr. Trump's popularity. Therefore he has every interest to keep alienating American allies; that has also the additional benefit that he can appear strong and macho in comparison to all those European wimps.
.
He is not alone. Plenty of questionable politicians from Mr. Putin to the Iranian mullahs all thrive on the narrative of having to defend their country against encirclement by evil foreigners. All that can be hoped is that eventually American voters come to their senses.

RealJournalism

Destroying the Iran's nuclear deal would create a crisis and this is what Trump wants. Crisis in the region would bring profits to many of his friends.
It is quite interesting that the main stream media credit mullahs for gaining influence in the region. In reality, the failing US policy in the Middle East is the underlying reason for mullahs to succeed. In other words, the US policy in the region is a gift to the mullahs.
Trump's approach towards N. Korea failed and now he thinks he has a good relationship with Kim !! His Israeli-Palestinian peace plan turned out to be a joke. Finally, when dealing with China, Trump is the underdog to Xi. Trump can easily walk away from the nuclear deal, but he can never succeed to make a better deal with Iran.
On the other hand, imposing sanction on Iran's head of judiciary and others could be a great move by Trump especially if it would be related to Iran's human rights violations.

BIGBIRD1

Trump should send Obama into this nuclear happy holidays in body armour shouting "Ali Akbar"
with Angela Merkel and Meryl "Strike One she's out" star, in solidarity.
-------
Hollywood always produces winners.
-------
If all fails send the secret weapon, Weinstein to give Iran a "once over".
Let the comedy begin.
------
OR Hilliary -she's so stuck in Libya, Google is trying to find the last email.

Jonel31

European nations have a rather strange habit: they want US to adopt their posture but when things get tough they always ask US to rescue them.
.
President Donald Trump believes that the Iran nuclear deal is a total and absolute failure that endangers the security of the Free World. It was signed by his predecessor, Barack Hussein Obama, the closet Islamist that finally left the White House through the back door. As it happens, US Congress agrees with President Trump even though many of the European countries that signed that deal don't agree. So what should the US Administration do? The answer seems more than obvious: Europe should maintain the deal as is while US (and Canada) will terminate it ASAP.
.
P. S. To avoid future frictions between allies maybe NATO ought to be disbanded and replaced by, say, European Defense Forces (EDEF). This seems like the ideal solution to a complicated situation that will certainly get worse in the near future.

blue asgard in reply to Jonel31

Sounds like the sort of thing a Putin troll would write. Straight from the Kremlin playbook, eh comrade?
.
Cue really nasty put-downers, these trolls have that, at least, down pat. If nothing else.
.
Treason's greetings.

mullah_assassin

If this dupe keeps toeing the Zionist line, America will wind up isolated alongside the chosenites, in Club Paranoia.

There is no evidence Iran is breaching the agreement, but Zionists need to have it their way, never mind the fact that many other countries are involved in this landmark deal. That doesn't mean anything to chosenites. What matters to them is that its always all about them.

sikko6

George W Bush cancelled North Korea nuclear deal. What happened now is that North Korea not only has hydrogen bombs but also ICBMs capable of hitting major US cities. Was that a good policy? Sh*thole Donald Kid wants to cancel nuclear deal with Iran. Iran will quickly arms herself with hydrogen bombs and ICBMs capable of hitting not only Israhell but also US cities. Kid Donald doesn't understand anything little complex. He's suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. He must be remove from the office before he starts WWIII.

BLURR

TRUMP will be alone as he misunderstands the crux of this deal. It is to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons, it is not a friendship agreement or a welcome to the fold for IRAN. All have and continue to have issues with the regional aggression that IRAN fosters and we need to deal with that separately, however, TRUMP cannot get his act together to get a consensus approach for doing this so he rails about this limited and limiting agreement.

mullah_assassin in reply to BLURR

Nuclear weapons are great insurance against regime change. George Bush rejected Iran's overtures in 2002. Now Trump is backtracking on a good deal. What does this tell you? Neocons don't have any brains, they are guided by retarded emotions.