Code: 627519 A

In true Trump fashion, he got rid of Tillerson and McMaster, silenced Mattis, and did what he always wanted to do, urged on by Bolton, award-winning author and journalist told ILNA.

Thomas W. Lippman is an award-winning author and journalist who has written about Middle Eastern affairs and American foreign policy for more than three decades, specializing in Saudi Arabian affairs, U.S.- Saudi relations, and relations between the West and Islam. He is a former Middle East bureau chief of the Washington Post, and also served as that newspaper's oil and energy reporter. Throughout the 1990s, he covered foreign policy and national security for the Post, traveling frequently to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. In 2003 he was the principal writer on the war in Iraq for Prior to his work in the Middle East, he covered the Vietnam war as the Washington Post's bureau chief in Saigon.

ILNA: Trump did not withdraw from JCPOA on the previous occasions. What caused the White House this time, in return for the previous occasions, to order the withdrawal?

Trump did not withdraw previously because Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster urged him not to do it, and because no one produced any evidence that Iran was violating the agreement. In true Trump fashion, he got rid of Tillerson and McMaster, silenced Mattis, and did what he always wanted to do, urged on by Bolton.

ILNA: How did public and high-ranking officials have reacted to Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal? Could the political and international consequences of emerging from leaving JCPOA lead to Republican defeat in the midterm Congressional elections in November?

A few hard-line Republican members of Congress and a few Jewish groups have celebrated the decision. Everyone else was horrified; members of congress, military people, academics, diplomats, all of them. The decision will not be an important factor in the mid-term elections because the vast majority of voters have other issues that matter more to them and -in the absence of war- don't care much about foreign policy.

ILNA: In the last weeks leaders of the European Union made a lot of effort to persuade Trump to stay in JCPOA. And after Trump announced his withdraw, many E.U officials fiercely reacted to this decision. Along with this, we witnessed disagreements between the United States and Europe over issues such as NATO, the transfer of embassy to Jerusalem and business relations. Could this be a serious divide in the relations between the parties and the flow of more Europeans to Iran?

There is already a serious division between the US and Europe -over military spending and trade and this only makes it worse. But there won't be a big European parade to Iran because of the US bank sanctions. At the end of the day, except for Total, the US market is much more important to them than the Iranian market.

ILNA: Federica Mogherini has announced that Europe will work hard to keep things going. What do you think Europe should do in this way? What is the European version of this?

Mogherini can work as hard as she wants, but after the Iran officials tirade recently, I doubt there is much she can do. 


Donal Trump Thomas W. Lippman
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