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Trump on Iran: ‘I have decided’ but his administration is in turmoil

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President Trump told reporters Wednesday “I have decided,” repeating the words three times, when asked about his intentions regarding decertification of the Iran deal.

While the president may have decided, his administration is in turmoil over the deal, with a very public row between UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson wants to preserve the deal, while Haley wants to kill it. Tillerson is also a bit sensitive over what he perceives as Haley’s “auditioning for his job.”

Gen. John Hyuten, commander of USSTRATCOM, said that Iran is in technical compliance with the deal, but preparing missiles in a way that violates its spirit.

With competing voices on both sides, who really knows what Trump has decided, if he’s actually decided anything at all yet.

Meanwhile, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani pulled out the apology card. He should be glad Trump didn’t give him a nickname like he did with “Rocket Man” Kim. If anything sways Trump to kill the Iran deal, Rouhani demanding an apology could factor large in the decision.

Perspectives

How Trump can pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement | Tom DiChristopher, CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/20/how-trump-can-pull-out-of-the-iran-nuclear-agreement.htmlRenewed sanctions on Iran’s energy sector could cut off its oil supplies, potentially boosting oil prices. That would bolster earnings for oil companies, but raise energy costs for consumers and businesses.

European oil majors seeking to jointly develop Iran’s oil and natural gas fields, such as France’s Total, might also retrench. Boeing, which is allowed to sell aircraft to Iran under the deal, would potentially drop plans to deliver planes to the national air carrier.

 

Top Trump General: Iran’s Complying With The Agreement. Trump Should Kill The Deal Anyway. | Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire

http://www.dailywire.com/news/21353/top-trump-general-irans-complying-agreement-trump-ben-shapiroIn this case, the experts are not only wrong on the facts, but they are also looking at the situation through the wrong end of the telescope. For all of his faults, Trump’s instinctive desire to end the nuclear deal is more reality-based than the arguments of his critics. He should stop listening to them and begin the process of decertifying the nuclear agreement.

Iran is following the pattern of North Korea and moving full speed ahead with its program of regional domination, to be capped with the legal development of a nuclear weapon. This much is obvious. And they know that the only possibility of retaining power is to avoid ticking off the United States, then going nuclear at the first available opportunity; that’s why North Korea is still run by the Kim family.

Tillerson, Haley Clash Over Iran Nuclear Deal | Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/tillerson-haley-clash-iran-nuclear-deal/Haley “thinks that [Tillerson is] trying to undermine the president and preserve Obama’s Iran legacy, which is true,” explained the source, who would only discuss the sensitive matter on background. “He thinks she’s running her own foreign policy and auditioning for his job, which is also true.”

These tensions have “spilled into the open” several times “over the last few weeks,” but were quickly dispelled in order to promote a public face of unity within the Trump administration, according to the source and others who spoke to the Free Beacon.

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Final Thoughts

Trump has a tendency to tell reporters he’s decided things without having actually decided them. So it’s possible we won’t know until October when it’s time to certify the deal again. I don’t see how Iran could be made to comply any better than they are, since it’s their intention to do as little as possible but make things look technically in compliance. Either Trump will tear up the deal, which he campaigned on doing, or we will all be doing this dance again at Christmastime.

Better to get it over with if the president is every going to do it.

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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Here’s hoping there’s a plan we don’t know about with North Korea

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Heres hoping theres a plan we dont know about with North Korea

In a move that many, including supporters on the right, are calling a move of weakness, the President reversed the Treasury Department’s additional sanctions on North Korea.

My Take

I’m just not sure what to make of this. I understand many have been concerned about how nicely the President has treated Kim Jong un, but I’ve always felt there was some sort of plan happening behind the scenes that would justify it. Now, I’m not so sure.

This move emboldens Kim to continue avoiding any compromise on his nuclear weapons program. It tells him and the rest of the world President Trump isn’t going to be playing hardball and intends to coax the North Korean dictator into signing some sort of agreement before the 2020 elections.

Dare I say, this seems very Obamaesque? Where’s the hardball? Where’s the threats against Rocketman? If there’s some sort of 4D chess being played in the background, I seriously hope we see it in play soon. This is a strange move.

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