President Donald Trump largely followed the U.S. policy script on Iran when he addressed the United Nations on Wednesday. So what exactly, did the key players get out of the verbal back and forth and what does it mean for the future relationship between the U.S., its European partners, and Iran? The Cipher Brief put that question to the ODNI’s former national intelligence manager for Iran, Norm Roule.
What Did the U.S. Get Out of This?
Looking beyond the headlines, Iran-related events at the United Nations illustrated the consistency of the positions held by its three key players.
President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo, and National Security Advisor Bolton delivered a series of widely-covered speeches which served to underscore the administration’s commitment to its tough Iran policy and warned Iran’s commercial partners than even tougher sanctions are on the horizon. Some commentators continue to describe the U.S. as isolated on Iran, but this is not entirely correct. Israel and most regional Sunni states publicly and enthusiastically support the administration’s positions, the few regional outsiders (e.g., Iraq, Lebanon, and Qatar) generally being countries which either rely on Tehran’s economic support or endure political architectures dominated by well-armed Iranian proxies. Although a number of countries voiced their support for the Iran deal, no state argued that the U.S. concerns over Iran’s actions were invalid.
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