Trump's America hearts Russia but it will unfriend Iran

Trump's America hearts Russia but it will unfriend Iran
With a Republican in the White House and a Republican-dominated Congress, the US is set to resume its traditional hostility to Iran
2 min read
20 Jan, 2017
With 19.8 million followers, Iran was one subject Trump regularly tweeted about [AFP]
Even before winning the presidential elections in November 2016, Donald Trump's infamous use of Twitter saw the president-elect more often than not give his two-pence on US foreign policy.

While maintaining consistent positions - or even completing sentences - have never been Trump's strongest suit, the soon-to-be-inaugurated president-elect has regularly taken to the social media platform to lay down some of his basic beliefs on the relationship between the US and the rest of the world.

With 19.8 million followers, Iran was one subject Trump regularly tweeted about – in over 400 tweets - criticising the foreign policy of now ex-President Barack Obama while using the hashtag #TimeToGetTough.

Trump's proposed hard-line on the Islamic Republic was made clear in his choice of cabinet nominees - notably with the appointment of retired General James "Mad Dog" Mattis as his secretary of defence, reputed for being an anti-Iran hardliner.

With a trawl through Trump's Twitter, here is what we know of his position on the Islamic Republic.

The Nuclear deal

Trump and his cabinet of anti-Iran hawks have vowed to rip up the nuclear deal with Iran as soon as he assumes office.

The international nuclear agreement – Obama's signature foreign policy initiative - saw the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in 2016.

Trump repeatedly trashed the deal on Twitter, calling it a "disaster" and a "scandal".

Commentators have since only been able to second-guess whether Trump is out to negotiate new terms with Iran that makes the deal more favourable to the US - or rip it up entirely as a prelude to possible military action.

Double - even triple - sanctions

Whatever Trump's ultimate goal is in regards to the Iran nuclear deal, there is no doubt he sees sanctions as a major tool to up the heat on Iran, despite a recent Congress vote to renew non-nuclear sanctions against Iran for another 10 years.

Iraq's oil

Trump repeatedly bashed Obama for leaving Iraq's oil to Iran, and it comes as no surprise that President Hassan Rouhani raced to sign as many oil deals before Trump assumes office.


Trump's position on the Iran-deal echoes that taken by right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who viewed any kind of deal as a mortal threat to Israel.

With Trump mirroring Netanyahu, the prospects of a continuation of Obama's policy seem unlikely at best.

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