US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s assertion that Iran is the “biggest issue” for the US today is ridiculous and Washington has much bigger foreign and domestic issues to be worried about, experts told RT.
In an interview with the Fox & Friends morning show, Haley said that Americans “do need to be worried about Iran” because the country is “constantly in the middle of trouble”.
But former US diplomat Jim Jatras believes any claims that Iran was the US’s biggest problem are “ridiculous” and that Iran has “no real relationship to US national interests at all”.
Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a professor of North American Studies at the University of Tehran, told RT that if Iran really is the Trump administration’s biggest issue, it shows that the US “doesn’t understand its own priorities.”
Jatras said it was unfortunate that US President Donald Trump had “surrounded himself” with neoconservatives and people from previous administrations — and that instead of conducting his promised “America First” foreign policy, he was running an “Israel and Saudi Arabia First” foreign policy.
Haley also told Fox & Friends that European countries, which have reaffirmed their commitment to the Iran nuclear deal which Trump scrapped earlier this year, are “so wrong” and that is is all down to their “ego and pride”.
European countries have come up with a new “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) — a mechanism which aims to help European companies avoid potential US sanctions if they do business in Iran after Trump reintroduced economic sanctions on Tehran earlier this year.
Asked about Brussels’ so-called ego and pride, Jatras said that any mechanism the EU comes up with is “only as good as European courage and willingness to stand up against Washington, which I consider to be at best questionable”.
Jatras maintains that “all it would take” was the US Treasury Department to sanction the new EU mechanism before Europeans would “collapse like a house of cards” and bow to US demands. “I wish the europeans had some ego and pride, but they don’t, they’re worthless and weak,” he added.
Marandi, on the other had, said the US was acting like a “rogue regime” and an “arrogant power” by dictating terms to the Europeans, telling them what they can and cannot do. “[The US] has no respect for Europe, it has no respect for European countries, it has no respect for European companies, nor European citizens,” he said. Trump, he added, is “behaving like some kind of Godfather, where he expects countries to abide by his demands and if not they’ll be punished.”
In the Fox interview, Haley also hit out at former Secretary of State John Kerry who has said that he stayed in touch with Iran’s foreign minister, calling the admission “anti-American” and hurtful to the country.
Jatras agreed that Kerry’s activities are “questionable” and that a former Secretary of State should not be carrying out his own foreign policy, regardless of what the current administration’s policy is.
Haley also claimed that world leaders laughed during Trump’s speech at the UN this week out of “respect” for how “honest” he is.
WOW! The UN audience laughs at Trump after he claims, “my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” pic.twitter.com/tXg50ejQqy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 25, 2018
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