Diplomacy

Expert Voices

Viktor Orbán's White House visit could bolster populists across Europe

Viktor Orban
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

On Monday President Trump will welcome to the White House Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has generally been shunned and censured by Western politicians and diplomats for his illiberal practices.

Why it matters: At a time when mainstream governments across Europe are doing their best to contain the far right, Trump’s outreach to Orbán will be seen as an effort to bolster populists, weaken Europe’s strained political center and undermine the EU.

Expert Voices

Trump's Iran policy could prop up regime in spite of economic harms

Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at a Cabinet meeting in Tehran. Photo: Iranian presidency handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The announcement by President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday that Iran will partially cease to comply with the 2015 nuclear deal was a foreseeable outgrowth of draconian sanctions imposed by the U.S. after its withdrawal from the agreement last year.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign has increased the threat of a nuclear escalation across the Middle East. Even short of that nightmare scenario, it could be self-defeating in the long term, hurting Iran’s pro-Western middle class at the expense of hardliners who control both the black market and a repressive state apparatus to stifle dissent.