Amid all the news that Bulletin readers may have seen regarding President Trump and the Iran deal, there were a few analysis stories—outside the usual suspects—that may have been easy to miss, or which had unexpected angles.
For example, CNN did an interesting poll of the US electorate, titled “Majority say US should not withdraw from Iran nuclear agreement.” It seems that on the eve of Trump’s announcement, twice as many Americans supported the Iran agreement as opposed it.
This was buttressed by an opinion piece in The Hill, titled “The challenge from Iran won’t get easier without a deal.”
CNN Politics also did a good analysis of what his decision may mean for Trump’s place in the history books, in a piece titled “Everything that scrapping the Iran deal says about Donald Trump” Some of the more memorable lines about the Trump administration and the announcement: “ ‘No one has any clue on the day after. There is no strategy,’ a senior European diplomat told CNN’s Michelle Kosinski, describing the State Department as ‘a shambles.’ ” The story noted how Trump’s latest decision is all of a pattern: “The President fires people before he finds replacements, makes up policy on the fly, decided to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemingly on a whim, and slashed away at Obamacare without offering a replacement… he breaks things and sees where the pieces land.”
This same thinking seemed to be behind the op-ed “Why Russia wants the Iran deal” in The Moscow Times (which seems to be a newspaper that is independent of Putin). Best line: “The best Moscow can do under the circumstances is to try to form a common position with the EU, China and Iran to keep the JCPOA in place irrespective of what the US does in its moment of madness.”
And coming out of left field, who would have thought that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel (who is also an ardent Trump supporter) would emerge as a player in the Iran mess? Yahoo Finance did a nice piece on this angle — it turns out that Thiel’s big-data engine, known as Palantir Technologies, is at the heart of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s system for verifying Iran’s compliance. Palantir makes so-called “predictive policing software” that is at the core of the agency’s new $50 million analytical platform, turning databases of classified information into maps that help inspectors visualize ties between the people, places and material involved in nuclear activities, IAEA documents show.
Finally, it was nice to see that there still is a (slender) hope for the future, judging from this BBC story: “Iran nuclear deal not dead despite Trump move, France says.”