Pompeo’s Iran speech backs European leaders into a corner, Gulf states welcome Pompeo’s hard line on Iran, Some steps Maduro could take, Spiritual and ecological improvement are connected, Diana’s legacy was fulfilled when Harry wed Meghan

A roundup of global commentary for the June 4, 2018 weekly magazine.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/File
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on the Trump administration's Iran policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., May 21, 2018.

Deutsche Welle / Bonn, Germany 

Pompeo’s Iran speech backs European leaders into a corner

“Only three years ago, [Mike] Pompeo had ranted against the Iran deal...,” writes Matthias von Hein. “On [May 21], he took the very same line – though this time, he carried the weight of his office [as US secretary of State] and had the backing of the president. One can and must be critical of many of Iran’s actions.... But the lopsidedness of Pompeo’s remarks detracts from their credibility.... Pompeo and the Trump administration ... aren’t negotiating at all – they are dictating.... Basically, Pompeo has declared economic war on Tehran and added a ... coalition of the willing, hinting that European partners join that coalition.... The speech leaves little doubt that Washington wants to expedite regime change.... Europe faces tough decisions: Washington demands loyalty for policies deemed erroneous by European leaders.” 

The National / Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Gulf states welcome Pompeo’s hard line on Iran

“ ‘This is just the beginning,’ said the new US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo [May 21] as he promised new financial sanctions against the Iranian government...,” writes Faisal Al Yafai. “The arrival of Mr Pompeo as America’s top diplomat marks ... a very welcome change in most capitals of the Gulf.... How different were [former Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson’s views from Mr Pompeo’s first major speech as secretary of state, when the latter called on Iran to remove all its forces from Syria and end its support for Hezbollah and Hamas. Those, admittedly, are the US’s maximalist positions.... But as a statement of intent and as a message to allies ... it was powerful.” 

The Hindu / Chennai, India

Maduro’s reelection amid crisis: some steps he could take

“Venezuelan protesters failed last year to force President Nicolás Maduro to step down in the midst of an economic and humanitarian crisis. After his emphatic victory in [the May 20] presidential elections, they have to reconcile themselves to his rule for another six-year term...,” states an editorial. “[I]t is clear that the shrinking democratic space has exerted a toll on the polity overall. The Venezuelan health system has all but collapsed.... Inflation has hit 13,000%.... Mr. Maduro may be part of Venezuela’s problem. But he can be a big part of the solution as well. He could make a beginning by ceding democratic space for dissent both within and outside his party, and by rolling back the country’s confrontational foreign policy.” 

Ekathimerini / Athens

Spiritual and ecological improvement are connected

“[F]rom June 5 to 8, the Ecumenical Patriarchate is organizing an international, interdisciplinary and interfaith ecological symposium on the islands of the Saronic Gulf,” writes Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios. “The symposium is the ninth in a series of similar gatherings that began in 1995.... Indeed, over the last three decades, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has highlighted the spiritual roots of the ecological crisis, while emphasizing the solidarity between humanity and nature. Moreover, it has underlined that the necessary spiritual transformation of human beings ... requires a commitment and collaboration of all social sectors and scientific disciplines.... What we believe about our world will define how we behave toward it. How we value God’s creation will determine whether we choose to respect or exploit it.” 

The Liberian Observer / Monrovia, Liberia

A key part of Diana’s legacy was fulfilled when Harry wed Meghan

“An outright conspiracy took place on Saturday, May 19, 2018; a veritable coup d’état if you will, but of the subtle, intelligent kind,” states an editorial. “The entire world watched with absolute horror twenty years ago when Diana, Princess of Wales, met her untimely death.... [S]he was the people’s princess; a woman with a heart who singularly tried to melt the iciness that was characteristic of the British aristocracy. Alas, she was ahead of her time.... Oh Diana!... Did you ever believe your mission would be accomplished from the grave?... [Y]our baby gave his wedding ring bearing your jewels to an African-American beauty.... It is on your shoulders that ... Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, will stand.” 

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