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Tags US-Iran relations

View Poll Results: ?
Very skeptical 30 85.71%
Somewhat skeptical 3 8.57%
Not skeptical 2 5.71%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25th June 2019, 08:57 AM   #1
Allen773
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As members of a skeptics forum, how skeptical are you of current Iran policy?

I thought that this might be a relevant topic.
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:16 AM   #2
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Which specifc factual claims are we talking about?
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:18 AM   #3
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"Iran policy"? Do you mean the policies of Iran, or the policies of other nations towards Iran?
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:48 AM   #4
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i’m not convinced that saying whatever happens to come into one’s head counts as an actual policy.
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:56 AM   #5
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I say, let 'em crash.
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Old 25th June 2019, 10:14 AM   #6
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Trump is president. There is no Iran policy.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...policy/592528/
Quote:
So which one is it? Proportional responses, or obliteration for any attack? Reading the president’s statements, it’s impossible to know what Trump’s Iran policy is—and it’s clear that Trump doesn’t know either.
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Old 25th June 2019, 11:48 AM   #7
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If it's US policy toward Iran, I can only excoriate Trump for unilaterally, without consulting nor coordinating with other partners, pulling out of the nuclear deal. Iran was abiding by the treaty. The US is significantly to blame for the *current* state of affairs. (Leaving out for the moment the underlying long-standing issues.) The dastardly and perfidious abrogating of treaties is the kind of stuff a certain Austrian cum Bavarian corporal was famous for.

With Trump and his cabal of boot-lickers, the US cannot now be trusted as it formerly was. A kind of rogue state, or at least a state helmed by rogues, it seems to me.
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Old 25th June 2019, 12:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
With Trump and his cabal of boot-lickers, the US cannot now be trusted as it formerly was. A kind of rogue state, or at least a state helmed by rogues, it seems to me.
We've become a rouge state.

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Old 25th June 2019, 12:25 PM   #9
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Assuming we are talking about current US policy towards Iran, skeptical but not much more skeptical than I have been of the previous 10 or 15 years of Iran Policy.

US policy in the middle east has largely been a disaster and seems to have had little impact on Iran's actions or leadership. Oddly, Trump talks tough but he actually does seem less willing to use military force than just about any president Since Carter.
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Old 25th June 2019, 12:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Assuming we are talking about current US policy towards Iran, skeptical but not much more skeptical than I have been of the previous 10 or 15 years of Iran Policy.

US policy in the middle east has largely been a disaster and seems to have had little impact on Iran's actions or leadership. Oddly, Trump talks tough but he actually does seem less willing to use military force than just about any president Since Carter.
Speak loudly and carry a small stick?
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Old 25th June 2019, 12:55 PM   #11
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The Trump administration is only executing the Iran policy of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
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Old 25th June 2019, 01:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
If it's US policy toward Iran, I can only excoriate Trump for unilaterally, without consulting nor coordinating with other partners, pulling out of the nuclear deal. Iran was abiding by the treaty. The US is significantly to blame for the *current* state of affairs. (Leaving out for the moment the underlying long-standing issues.) The dastardly and perfidious abrogating of treaties is the kind of stuff a certain Austrian cum Bavarian corporal was famous for.

With Trump and his cabal of boot-lickers, the US cannot now be trusted as it formerly was. A kind of rogue state, or at least a state helmed by rogues, it seems to me.
No, the US is absolutely, completely to blame for the current state of affairs. Not only do we inexplicably keep providing virtually unconditional support to the Saudi royal family, but Trump personally saw to it that the US relationship with Iran was in a heartbeat set back 30+ years. His continued violent posturing seems almost certain to result in military action which will be all but impossible to reasonably justify to anyone but like-minded dictators who love to watch the United States in chaos and don't care how many innocent people die in the process.
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Old 25th June 2019, 03:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
No, the US is absolutely, completely to blame for the current state of affairs. Not only do we inexplicably keep providing virtually unconditional support to the Saudi royal family, but Trump personally saw to it that the US relationship with Iran was in a heartbeat set back 30+ years. His continued violent posturing seems almost certain to result in military action which will be all but impossible to reasonably justify to anyone but like-minded dictators who love to watch the United States in chaos and don't care how many innocent people die in the process.
That's rather reductionist, short sited, and naive. It assumes no other actors have any impact on the region for one. It ignores the long standing Shia/Sunni rivalry and ignores the complete hash the Brits and French made of the region when they lost control.

Granted, US policy in the region has been remarkably bad for generations we are not the only agents in the regions.
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Old 25th June 2019, 03:13 PM   #14
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The policy would that be?
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Old 25th June 2019, 03:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
That's rather reductionist, short sited, and naive. It assumes no other actors have any impact on the region for one. It ignores the long standing Shia/Sunni rivalry and ignores the complete hash the Brits and French made of the region when they lost control.

Granted, US policy in the region has been remarkably bad for generations we are not the only agents in the regions.
No, it's at worst simple: We had the best chance in decades for at least detente, if not full normalization of diplomatic relations, with Iran and Trump flushed that chance because his people hate Iran. On the other hand, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia brutally murdered a journalist who had been living in the US and Trump shrugged it off because of Saudi money and oil. I'd leave out the fact that we laid waste to two nations for what happened on September 11, 2001, and neither of those nations was one from which the perpetrators came, but in good conscience I can't.

But we should definitely go to war if Iran shoots down unmanned drones. Totally. Why wouldn't we?
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Old 25th June 2019, 03:32 PM   #16
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Not voting until I understand the question.
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Old 25th June 2019, 05:22 PM   #17
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Iran has always been a bad actor in the region. They have attacked oil tankers for many years and have supported terrorism. However, they WERE complying with the JCPOA until Trump took it into his head to cancel that agreement (presumably as a part of his fit of pique to expunge anything Obama did merely because it was him who did it).

Now the US, having canned the JCPOA, have done little more than provoke, and continue to try to provoke Iran into a conflict. For many years, John Bolton has held on to his dream of forcing regime change in Iran. He's a warhawk, and he is either too stupid or simply fails to understand that if he tries to go to war with Iran, he will create another generation of Islamic terrorists that our kids will have to deal with.

Make no mistake, the USA had a lot of trouble dispensing with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq (and look what happened when they finally did, ISIS filled the power vacuum). If Bolton and his offsider, Pompous think Iran will be present a similar threat that Iraq did to US forces, they are living in LaLa Land. Iraq had a huge level of dissent among its population, Saddam was at war with his own people; outside of their 50,000 or so professional soldiers, the Iraqi army were mostly unmotivated conscripts.

Iran presents no such advantage; they are far better organised, several times better armed and a hundred times more committed. The population would be 100% committed to fight. It would be a real mistake for the US to go to war with Iran - they might eventually win, they probably would, but many tens of thousands of young US men and women will come home in body bags before they do.
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Old 25th June 2019, 05:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Iran has always been a bad actor in the region. They have attacked oil tankers for many years and have supported terrorism. However, they WERE complying with the JCPOA until Trump took it into his head to cancel that agreement (presumably as a part of his fit of pique to expunge anything Obama did merely because it was him who did it).

Now the US, having canned the JCPOA, have done little more than provoke, and continue to try to provoke Iran into a conflict. For many years, John Bolton has held on to his dream of forcing regime change in Iran. He's a warhawk, and he is either too stupid or simply fails to understand that if he tries to go to war with Iran, he will create another generation of Islamic terrorists that our kids will have to deal with.

Make no mistake, the USA had a lot of trouble dispensing with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq (and look what happened when they finally did, ISIS filled the power vacuum). If Bolton and his offsider, Pompous think Iran will be present a similar threat that Iraq did to US forces, they are living in LaLa Land. Iraq had a huge level of dissent among its population, Saddam was at war with his own people; outside of their 50,000 or so professional soldiers, the Iraqi army were mostly unmotivated conscripts.

Iran presents no such advantage; they are far better organised, several times better armed and a hundred times more committed. The population would be 100% committed to fight. It would be a real mistake for the US to go to war with Iran - they might eventually win, they probably would, but many tens of thousands of young US men and women will come home in body bags before they do.
Also Iran is how it is today because the US decided to force a regime change there. It didn't work out well for us. There's no reason to suppose repeating the same mistake will cause different, much less better, results.
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Old 25th June 2019, 06:56 PM   #19
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Bolton is a psychopath.

That's really all we need to know.
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Old 25th June 2019, 07:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Also Iran is how it is today because the US decided to force a regime change there. It didn't work out well for us. There's no reason to suppose repeating the same mistake will cause different, much less better, results.
How does Einstein's definition of insanity go again?
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Iran has always been a bad actor in the region.
Really? When was the last time Iran started a truly aggressive war? You might have to go back to the early 18th century to the life and reign of Nadir Shah(1688-1747). The later wars largely involved territorial disputes. When was the last time America started a war of aggression? I believe most Americans have lost count of the wars we've started just this century.

General Wesley Clark has stated that after 9/11 the Pentagon was preparing to take out 7 countries in 5 years. Which countries were these? General Clark states,

"So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."

Note how many of these countries we have already engaged with militarily(Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia) and which country is last on the list(Iran). This has been a long term plan going back to 9/11.

Nevertheless, Bonkers Bolton needs to go.
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:12 PM   #22
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by tanabear View Post
Really? When was the last time Iran started a truly aggressive war? You might have to go back to the early 18th century to the life and reign of Nadir Shah(1688-1747). The later wars largely involved territorial disputes. When was the last time America started a war of aggression? I believe most Americans have lost count of the wars we've started just this century.

General Wesley Clark has stated that after 9/11 the Pentagon was preparing to take out 7 countries in 5 years. Which countries were these? General Clark states,

"So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."

Note how many of these countries we have already engaged with militarily(Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia) and which country is last on the list(Iran). This has been a long term plan going back to 9/11.

Nevertheless, Bonkers Bolton needs to go.

Oh dear, did you get that spiel from Googleversity?

"Bad actor" does not equal "started a war"

Iran has done very provocative things including attacking oil tankers and attempting to lay mines in the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz, since shortly after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that unseated the Shah, and put Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini in power.
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Old 25th June 2019, 09:51 PM   #24
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I'm skeptical that we even have a consistent Iran policy. I'm skeptical that any two people in government agree on any approach or that the agreer-in-chief can carry the same opinion through from the start of a sentence all the way to the end of it.
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Old 26th June 2019, 02:30 AM   #25
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I think that it is good that, as a species, we are finally divesting ourselves of our last shreds of sanity.
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Old 26th June 2019, 06:34 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
I think that it is good that, as a species, we are finally divesting ourselves of our last shreds of sanity.
Sometimes insanity is the only reasonable alternative.
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Old 26th June 2019, 06:40 AM   #27
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“Hmmm..... Popularity in the tubes. Bush’s popularity was in the tubes too... Till he went to war. Americans love war... Americans love war-president...”
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Old 26th June 2019, 06:55 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by tanabear View Post
"So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."
This reads like something out of a b-movie, and a pretty uninspired one at that. I believe Tom Clancy is diseased, but maybe one of his colleagues might be able to give the CTers a writing workshop?
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Old 26th June 2019, 09:13 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Safe-Keeper View Post
This reads like something out of a b-movie, and a pretty uninspired one at that. I believe Tom Clancy is diseased, but maybe one of his colleagues might be able to give the CTers a writing workshop?
Deceased?
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Old 26th June 2019, 09:39 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by carrps View Post
Deceased?
Thank you .
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Old 26th June 2019, 10:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Oh dear, did you get that spiel from Googleversity?

"Bad actor" does not equal "started a war"

Iran has done very provocative things including attacking oil tankers and attempting to lay mines in the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz, since shortly after the 1979 Iranian Revolution that unseated the Shah, and put Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini in power.
So the results of the US regime change directly caused Iran to become the theocratic hellhole that it is.

I’ve know Iranians who were students fighting for democracy after the US ****** everything up.

They really quickly became, shall we say, ambivalent about the US when they were thrown to the wolves of radical Islam, who suddenly had American weapons also, cause the young people wanted to socialize a few things to get the country going. Just like Trump’s tariff idea.

In the Middle East every actor is bad, but only the USA has always made the absolute most dictatorial decisions that did the maximum amount of harm to the people of Iran
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Old 26th June 2019, 11:31 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by autumn1971 View Post
So the results of the US regime change directly caused Iran to become the theocratic hellhole that it is.

I’ve know Iranians who were students fighting for democracy after the US ****** everything up.

They really quickly became, shall we say, ambivalent about the US when they were thrown to the wolves of radical Islam, who suddenly had American weapons also, cause the young people wanted to socialize a few things to get the country going. Just like Trump’s tariff idea.

In the Middle East every actor is bad, but only the USA has always made the absolute most dictatorial decisions that did the maximum amount of harm to the people of Iran
I was there as part of UNIIMOG in 1989/90, I know what it was like; we were supposed to be keeping the peace at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. The Iraqis had started it in 1980, and pretty much got their arses kicked by 1982. Thereafter, it was another six years of WWI style barbed wire & trench warfare, with neither side winning or gaining ground. The Iraqis used chemical weapons, even on their own people and the Iranians used waves of suicide troops (they had a name for it but I can't recall) and all that resulted in the deaths of half a million solders and civilians.

Iranians were right-pissed off that they had been denied victory. We were receiving regular briefings telling us the latest provocative thing that Iran had done to try to upset a very brittle situation.

PS: The US didn't take the Shah out of power in '79, they helped put him there in the first place in '53!
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Old 26th June 2019, 11:49 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
PS: The US didn't take the Shah out of power in '79, they helped put him there in the first place in '53!

It bears mentioning that the Shah was a brutal dictator with his own crazy-violent secret police. The US supported the Shah because he was friendly to Western interests which ... is a bad reason. It's a bad reason to support Saudi Arabia today.

When the Iranians revolted, they encountered a huge power vacuum. And that power still hasn't been crystalized in one body. There's a president, but there's also a grand Ayatollah, several regional mullahs, informal militias, and even gangs of orthodox women roaming the streets who will accost any female they think is being indecorous.

We can't negotiate with Iran because nobody in Iran has the power to keep any promises. And that is, in many ways, our own fault.
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Old 26th June 2019, 11:57 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by autumn1971 View Post
So the results of the US regime change directly caused Iran to become the theocratic hellhole that it is.
If you're talking about the 1978 Iranian revolution, the U.S. did not favor this change. You can argue the U.S. helped set the whole thing in motion in the 1950s with its intervention to reinstall the shah over an elected prime minister.

And: I can only speak to 2003, but my experiences in Iran to some extent contradict the idea that it is a theocratic hellhole. I found a vibrant, diverse and often fairly secular culture that loves to celebrate. That was during a liberalized period and I'm pretty sure the government wanted to make a good impression on a group of visiting Americans, but it wasn't a Potemkin-type setup; we had many spontaneous encounters that could not have been staged.

The one thing that would unite many freethinking Iranians behind the unpopular regime is an attack by the U.S., so obviously I'm not in favor of starting a war there. On the other hand ... Trump's reputation for being unpredictable might not be totally a bad thing. He and Ahmadinejad would have gotten along famously.
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Old 26th June 2019, 12:11 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
We can't negotiate with Iran because nobody in Iran has the power to keep any promises. And that is, in many ways, our own fault.
I suspect there are side deals that neither country is eager to publicize.

Nominally Khamenei carries absolute authority.
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Old 26th June 2019, 12:22 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Allen773 View Post
I thought that this might be a relevant topic.
The Iranian government's recycling policy? Or Iranian building and contents insurance policies?
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Old 26th June 2019, 12:23 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
"Iran policy"? Do you mean the policies of Iran, or the policies of other nations towards Iran?
I'm not sure either, but I voted "very skeptical". Since I'm skeptical of Iran, I'm skeptical of Bolton, and I'm skeptical that Trump has any sort of plan.
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Old 26th June 2019, 12:24 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
And: I can only speak to 2003, but my experiences in Iran to some extent contradict the idea that it is a theocratic hellhole. I found a vibrant, diverse and often fairly secular culture that loves to celebrate. That was during a liberalized period and I'm pretty sure the government wanted to make a good impression on a group of visiting Americans, but it wasn't a Potemkin-type setup; we had many spontaneous encounters that could not have been staged
I have a friend based not far from me in Mapua, who takes groups of older & retired tourists on 2˝ week guided tours of ancient Persia.

http://www.tourpersia.co.nz/

Their experiences sound similar to yours
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Old 26th June 2019, 12:25 PM   #39
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I'm skeptical of all parties related to the US relationship with Iran. However, near as I can tell, our strategy towards Iran largely depends on how many lines of blow Trump did off Kellyanne Conway's back before he gets on Twitter.
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Old 26th June 2019, 12:25 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
I'm not sure either, but I voted "very skeptical". Since I'm skeptical of Iran, I'm skeptical of Bolton, and I'm skeptical that Trump has any sort of plan.
When you think about it someone claiming to be a skeptic would have to say they are skeptical about whatever the opening post is asking about since a "true" skeptic is skeptical about everything. Even their own skepticism. Now excuse me - I need to clean my navel out before I disappear through it.
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