President Donald Trump sought again recently to impose his foreign policy vision on the world through a dramatic move; this time, he announced he was withdrawing the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran signed under the Obama administration. That deal included a demand that the Iranians’ restrain their nuclear weapons program in return for sanctions relief from the West; as a part of President Trump announcing that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the deal, the administration reimposed sanctions on the country.
Now, although the country’s leadership has certainly already responded to the move in other ways, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took to responding to the U.S. president’s move in a way uniquely poised to draw his ire.
On Friday, a photo went up on his official account of him thumbing through a translated copy of the infamous book that came out this year from Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury.
Fire and Fury proved to be immensely popular when it came out earlier this year; and indeed, it proved to be incendiary as well. Thanks to comments criticizing the president’s inner circle contained in its pages, the president made a very public break with his already former adviser Steve Bannon, who ended up issuing an apology for having characterized a 2016 meeting involving Donald Trump Jr., former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, a Kremlin-connected lawyer, and others as reckless.
The president himself has, indeed, already responded to the book; it’s in that context that he made his now infamous quip about believing himself to be a “stable genius.” The idea, of course, is that if you have to rush to Twitter to assure the world that you’re a genius, then your status certainly seems questionable.
What exact weight the Iranian leader’s Instagram post will have on the future of the Iran-U.S. relationship remains to be seen. Considering his past behavior, it certainly would not be beyond the president for him to become enraged at the Iranian leader promoting Wolff’s controversial book.
In past comments about the Obama-era deal with Iran that he just moved to withdraw the United States from, Trump called it a “horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”
Having already offered a more explicit response to the U.S. president’s move, the Iranian leader, besides noting that Trump allegedly lied at least ten times in his remarks about the matter, said of Trump:
‘This man will turn to dust and his body will become food for snakes and ants. And the Islamic Republic will still be standing.’
Over in Iran’s parliament, members reacted by burning an American flag and a copy of the Iran deal and chanting “death to America.”
Here in the U.S., responses have included one from Barack Obama himself, the chief executive under which the deal was crafted.
Obama issued a lengthy statement condemning Trump’s move, calling it a “serious mistake.”
There are few issues more important to the security of the US than the potential spread of nuclear weapons or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. Today’s decision to put the JCPOA at risk is a serious mistake. My full statement: https://t.co/4oTdXESbxe
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 8, 2018
The Iran nuclear agreement is not even the first major global diplomatic deal that President Trump has moved to withdraw the United States from in the interest of serving his fatalistic America First strategy; he has also sought to withdraw the country from the Paris Climate Accord.
As time goes on, he is continuing to send the standing standards of global policy up in smoke, no matter what the cost.
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