In an interview with The Washington Post published over the weekend, Donald Trump continued his denunciation of the nuclear pact forged between Iran and world powers last year.
"They are laughing at the stupidity of the deal we’re making on nuclear," Trump said of the Iranians, in an interview last summer with CNN. "We should double up and triple up the sanctions and have them come to us. They are making an amazing deal."
For American opponents of the Iran deal, under which the Islamic Republic agreed to strict curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, the agreement didn't punish the regime nearly enough. That sentiment, ironically, is mirrored in Iran. There, critics of the compromise with world powers say it went too far, and they still resent having to make concessions to what they regard as the imperialist West.
As noted by al-Monitor's Arash Karami, who tracks Iranian media, Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the hard-line Kayhan newspaper and a leading voice among Iran's hard-liner camp, recently commented on Trump's views of the deal. While hardly praising Trump, whom he branded "crazy," Shariatmadari echoed Trump's proposal to scrap the nuclear accord -- on grounds that it excessively favors the United States.
"The wisest plan of crazy [Donald] Trump is tearing up the nuclear deal," Shariatmadari told Fars News Agency. He deemed the nuclear deal a "golden document" for the Obama administration and one that has caused nothing but "damages, humiliation and deception," according to Karami's account.
This prompted a reformist newspaper, Arman Daily, to bite back in a front-page news story titled "What Shariatmadari and Trump have in common." According to al-Monitor, the newspaper said that Trump's position was the source of happiness for Iranian hard-liners and that, in echoing Trump, Shariatmadari has "once again become one voice with American extremists."
The reference to "American extremists" is likely the Iranian interpretation of some of the talking points dominating the Republican primary campaign, which include proposals to ban all Muslim arrivals to the country.
Iran's hard-liners suffered something of a blow in February elections, in which supporters of President Hassan Rouhani, who championed diplomacy with the West, surged into the country's parliament.
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