White House Separately Pursuing Arab and European Cooperation With Strategy for Iran

On Monday, the Associated Press reported upon some of the latest efforts by the Trump administration to develop multinational support for its newly announced strategy to confront the malign activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including its intrusion into the affairs of neighboring countries. The article detailed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh for the inaugural meeting of the Saudi-Arabia-Iraq Cooperation Council. There, Tillerson spoke to both Saudi King Salman and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and urged their governments to help push Iranian influence out of Iraq and the surrounding region.

White House Elucidates Its Iran Policy to the World as Tehran Expands Destabilizing Activities

Since US President Donald Trump outlined a new strategy for confronting Iran last Friday, other members of his administration have been working to clarify that strategy and sell it to the public through a series of media appearances and communications with American lawmakers and foreign officials. On Thursday, the Associated Press reported upon efforts by Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, to convince an international audience of the need to follow Trump’s example in dealing with a wide range of questionable Iranian activities, and not just the 2015 nuclear agreement.

House Arrest for Former President Highlights Still-Worsening Crackdown

On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Iranian security forces had barred former President Mohammad Khatami from leaving his home the previous day. Iran News Update had already picked up on reports of escalating restrictions on the apparent figurehead for the reformist wing of Iranian politics, but these restrictions had only gone as far as a temporary ban on public appearances and the acceptance of political guests, as well as the removal of Khatami’s image from all Iranian media.

Iran Stands to Make Gains in Iraq and Syria Unless Constrained by the US

On Tuesday, The Iran Project quoted Ali Akbar Velayati, a leading foreign policy advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, as saying that the Islamic Republic has no role in the recent hostilities in and around the Iraqi city of Kirkuk. With US backing, Iraqi Kurdish forces had played an instrumental role in capturing the city from ISIL and holding it as the conflict with the Syrian-Iraqi terrorist group wound down. But with ISIL apparently on its last legs, Kirkuk has become one of several flashpoints in newly emerging conflicts as multiple parties strive to gain future strategic leverage by holding different areas of liberated territory.

US Policymakers Work to Fix Nuclear Deal but Urge Trump to Work With Europeans

USA Today reported on Monday that Republican lawmakers had begun holding meetings with the intention of fixing “major flaws” in the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. On Friday, President Donald Trump addressed the nation to announce a new strategy for confronting the Islamic Republic of Iran. As expected, the president withheld the certification that is due for the nuclear deal every 90 days, according to a US law that was passed in order to ratify American participation in the agreement, negotiated along with the four other members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany.

Before Iran Policy Announcement, Trump Faced Pressure on Nuclear Deal but Support for Broader Assertiveness

US President Donald Trump is expected to announce on Friday not only whether he plans to recertify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but also the details of his overall policy toward the Islamic Republic going forward. That policy has been under review roughly since the previous occasion on which the president was required by US legislation to certify the national security importance of sanctions relief under the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

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