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September 11, 2019 6:19 am

President Trump’s Hypocritical Outreach to Iran Is Dangerous and Irresponsible

avatar by Harold Ohayon

Opinion

US President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he receives a status report on Hurricane Dorian in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, Sept. 4, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst.

“Confusing” is one way of labeling President Donald Trump’s dabbling in international affairs. His inappropriate praise of dictators and his open-door policy to some of the most sadistic leaders in the world are indeed quite distasteful and unbecoming of the President of the United States.

Earlier this year, President Trump shocked many around the world when he met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Yet despite countless statements and promises, the status quo on the Korean peninsula has not changed. The Kim regime has returned to its usual bombastic behavior, lobbing missiles into the sea and continuing to sow havoc around the world and persecute its own people. It appears that the only thing that came out of President Trump’s overtures to Kim Jong-un were a few photo opportunities.

A few weeks ago, President Trump alarmed many when he stated that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. This was an utterly baffling move, given the fact that President Trump has spent years lambasting and criticizing former president Obama’s Iran policy, which included direct outreach. But now President Trump has gone above and beyond anything President Obama did, by offering to meet with the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Iranians responded to this outreach by refusing to accept the proposal. Since then, Israel has carried out several air strikes around the Middle East in the hopes of curbing the Iranian menace. Israel also recently disclosed information regarding an Iranian site that was used to store nuclear materials, raising concerns over Iran’s compliance in regards to international agreements. In addition, Iran has started flexing its muscles and has restarted several aspects of its nuclear program.

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How did President Trump handle the intransigence coming from Iran? He once again voiced his desire to meet with President Rouhani. Aside from the dangerous implications for America and the world, this turnaround by Trump will no doubt weaken Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party, and is causing many in Israel to take a step back and reflect on how reliable the United States is when dealing with Iran.

So, North Korea, Iran — and now the Taliban. President Trump had planned to meet with the leaders of the Taliban at Camp David last weekend, until a car bomb in Afghanistan derailed the proposed meeting. Had it occurred, it would have been a deeply insulting event indeed. Wednesday marks the 18th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the thought of the President of the United States meeting with those who harbored and aided Osama bin Laden is utterly revolting.

Negotiating with your enemies is a noble endeavor, but such things should be undertaken with much thought and planning. President Trump’s approach is haphazard, done without deep reflection or thought, and ill-conceived. It was reportedly a prime reason that John Bolton left the White House. May Trump’s other advisers steady his hand before he does something irreversible and reprehensible.

Harold Ohayon teaches junior high school students in Hokkaido, Japan. When not slaving away at school, he enjoys musing about politics, religion, and philosophy over Korean food.

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