Trump’s ‘diplomatic vandalism’ on the Iran nuclear deal, Trump’s nuclear deal move hurts America’s reputation, Putin’s pushy foreign policy may not be strategically beneficial, Why Elon Musk blew up at an analyst, Timely theme for World Press Freedom Day

A roundup of global commentary for the May 21, 2018 weekly magazine.

Evan Vucci/AP
President Trump shows a signed Presidential Memorandum after delivering a statement on the Iran nuclear deal from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, May 8, 2018.

The Guardian / London 

Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal is ‘diplomatic vandalism’

“Donald Trump’s torpedoing of the Iran nuclear deal on highly specious and misleading grounds is an act of wanton diplomatic vandalism fraught with dangers...,” writes Simon Tisdall. “Many in Tehran will see the sweeping reimposition of US sanctions as a declaration of war.... This aggressive bid to further isolate Iran appears designed to ultimately enforce regime change. In the short-term it will destroy remaining mutual goodwill, undermine pro-western Iranian opinion, empower hardliners, trigger an oil price crisis, and increase the risk of conflict centred on Syria and Israel.... Theresa May can make a start by withdrawing her ill-judged invitation to Trump to visit Britain.... The moment for active resistance has arrived.” 

Tehran Times / Tehran, Iran

Trump’s attack on the nuclear deal has hurt America’s reputation

“No matter what decision he [made], Trump has already ruined the reputation and credibility of the United States by repeatedly attacking the nuclear agreement, which has been endorsed by the UN Security Council and backed by the entire international community,” writes M.A. Saki. “Trump ... has even overgeneralized his transactional view to international conventions and laws.... His approach toward the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] has been a mockery of ... international law. He has used the harshest language against the JCPOA.... All these rash remarks are taking place despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency ... has confirmed ... that Tehran has been fully living up to its commitments....” 

The Hindu / Chennai, India

Putin’s pushy foreign policy may not be strategically beneficial

“Vladimir Putin, who has maintained a tight grip on power in Russia for almost two decades, begins his fourth term as President at a time when the country is going through a difficult period, economically and diplomatically...,” states an editorial. “The rising number of protests in Moscow and elsewhere against Mr. Putin’s rule may not be difficult for him to overcome.... Mr. Putin’s muscular foreign policy is a more solid source of public support for him.... In the short term, Mr. Putin succeeded in creating the impression that Russia is back on the global stage. But it is not certain whether his confrontational foreign policy ... will yield the desired strategic benefits....” 

South China Morning Post / Hong Kong

Why Elon Musk blew up at an analyst

“There was something rather magnificent or maybe simply annoying about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s explosion during the latest quarterly earnings call when he castigated an analyst for asking ‘boring, bonehead questions,’ ” writes Stephen Vines. “The analyst wanted to know whether Tesla would be seeking to raise more capital, an arguably reasonable concern as the company is burning through US$1 billion per quarter with the prospects of profitability somewhere on the far horizon.... So, what’s happening here? Musk, a visionary, who made the launch of electric cars a commercial reality and has now set his sights on space travel, is a big-picture guy. He is impatient with pesky analysts who ... are far more interested in the financials than they are in the vision....” 

The East African / Nairobi, Kenya

A timely tag line for World Press Freedom Day

“East Africa joined the international community in observing World Press Freedom Day 2018,” states an editorial. “In Africa, the main event, headlined by Unesco, saw advocates of freedom of expression converge on Ghana’s capital Accra, to reflect on the day’s theme: Keeping power in check. The theme could not have been more pertinent given the current threats media face.... Besides legal challenges, the physical safety of journalists can no longer be guaranteed. The blurring of the line between official agents of the state and the unidentified actors who harm journalists and somehow get away with it, is of grave concern.... Laws regulating [freedom of expression] should be informed by a desire to facilitate rather than limit the enjoyment of that right....” 

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