Jan 9, 2020

Susan Rice tears into Trump over "despicable lies" on Obama and Iran

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former national security adviser Susan Rice ripped into President Trump on MSNBC Wednesday over his blaming the Obama administration, in which she served, for rising tensions in Iran.

This is another series of despicable lies by President Trump. The fact that ... he remains obsessed with President Obama just shows President Trump's extreme weakness and insecurity."
— Susan Rice on MSNBC

Catch up quick: In an address on Wednesday responding to Iranian missile strikes on Iraq bases where U.S. troops are stationed, Trump argued the Iranian nuclear deal was "foolish" and claimed that the missiles fired were funded by the Obama administration.

  • Rice responded: "The facts about the Iran nuclear deal are that it effectively halted and rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. In the years since the signing of the deal in 2015 up until President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal, abandoning our allies against the advice of his advisers, there were no proxy attacks by Iranian proxies on U.S. personnel in Iraq."

Go deeper: Signs of respite with Iran despite Trump's red line

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European leaders trigger dispute action in Iran deal

Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron in August. Photo: Andrew Parsons/Pool/Getty Images

The leaders of the U.K., Germany and France said in a Tuesday letter that they are triggering a "dispute mechanism" in the Iran nuclear agreement in response to Tehran’s attempts to undo parts of the deal, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The action could lead to the restoration of European sanctions on Iran that were rolled back in 2015.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020

Iran's proxies in the Middle East

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Behrouz Mehri/Getty Staff, Anadolu Agency/Getty Contributor, Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Contributor

Iran has built up a vast network of proxies through which it wields influence across the Middle East, and which could take action to stoke tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Why it matters: The political parties and militias that are influenced by and act on behalf of Iran likely pose a more direct threat to U.S. targets than Iran itself, the Washington Post writes.

Go deeperArrowJan 18, 2020 - World

Iran says it mistakenly shot down Ukrainian passenger plane

Search and rescue workers at the site after a Boeing 737 plane belonging to a Ukrainian airline that crashed near Imam Khomeini Airport in Iran just after takeoff. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iran announced in a statement on Saturday (local time) that its military mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed on Wednesday, killing all passengers aboard, according to multiple reports.

What they're saying, per the Iranian military's statement: The Boeing 737 jetliner operated by Ukrainian International Airlines “took the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target” as it came close to an Iranian military base, and “under these circumstances, because of human error,” the plane “came under fire,” the New York Times writes.

Go deeperArrowJan 11, 2020