The Speech That Marked A New Era of US-Iran Confrontation

By Trita Parsi

May 21, 2017 "
Information Clearing House" - The speech was interesting in many ways, including his tough line on the Saudis and their allies not doing enough to confront their extremists, urging them to drive the extremists out.

But the most consequential part of it may be his line that Iran must be isolated until it has a different regime that deals with the world differently.

Just when Iranians voted overwhelmingly for openness and engagement with world, Trump clenched his fist and responded by calling for Iran's isolation. It raises the question as to whether the United States wants to lose Iran as an enemy.

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Combining isolation with a call for regime change - ironically after the Iranians went and massively participated in their presidential elections - is how the groundwork for the Iraq war was laid.

It is a return to the Bush administrationís Iran policy in which Iranís all out isolation was sought combined with a refusal to engage diplomatically with Tehran.

Returning to a policy of isolation is a violation of the nuclear deal with Iran. This is yet another measure in which the Trump administration is continuing to violate the deal while giving the appearance that it isnít seeking to kill the deal.

While the call for the isolation of Iran will be welcomed in Riyadh, it will further disconnect U.S. policy in the Middle East with that of the USís EU allies who seek an inclusive security dialogue in the region.

Rather than being a speech that marks the beginning of an era of peace, as Trump declared, it may be remembered as the speech that marked the beginning of a new era of US-Iran confrontation - started by Trump on behalf of the Saudi dictatorship.

Trita Parsi is the founder and current president of the National Iranian American Council, author of Treacherous Alliance and A Single Roll of the Dice. He regularly authors articles in print, and appears on TV to commentate on foreign policy.