Maajid Nawaz 1pm - 4pm
Friends in strange places
8 October 2017, 01:09 | Updated: 8 October 2017, 01:13
The world awaits, agog for the news that Donald Trump is expected to release on October the 12th about who he is keen to start a war with as a new diversion to get the press to stop following the collusion with Russia story.
Iran looks like it is in the cross-hairs.
Trump says that Iran is not complying with the nuclear deal that limits their ability to make bombs.
Germany says he is wrong, and France, the whole of the EU and Great Britain too.
Rex Tillerson is Trump's Secretary of State, or at least he was this afternoon when I checked last.
He said that Iran was complying with the deal but that did not change the president's mind, it just made him grumpy and cross.
He's like a toddler that has been told he can't have another rusk.
Trump is making up reasons to attack Iran because that was one of the things he promised at his rallies before the election.
He said it because he knew a bit of Arab bashing would go down well with the yokels from the ding-a-ling states.
He hasn't been able to do any of the other daft things he promised: he won't build a wall and Mexico won't pay for it; he can't repeal Obamacare; he didn't lock Hillary up, so now he is left with attacking Iran just to get another cheer from his fans.
The British, French, German and European Union ambassadors to the US went to Washington to say please don't do it Donny.
Boris Johnson urged him to have faith in the potential of the deal to create a more open Iran.
That is one of the more sensible things that Boris Johnson as ever said, alongside “I think Donald Trump is clearly out of his mind”.
Boris said “we in the UK feel that Iran – a country of 80 million people, many of them young and potentially liberal – could be won over. I think it is important they see there are benefits from the nuclear agreement, so we in the UK want that alive,”
I can't believe I am about to say this...but Boris Johnson is right.
When you see Iran on the TV, it is always some baying crowd burning US flags.
Where they keep getting them from, nobody knows, but that is not Iran, any more than the Las Vegas shooter is America.
I know for a fact that there is a liberal side to Iran because my sister-in-law is Iranian.
I have an idea of what life is like in Iran for young people and it’s not what you see on the news.
Don't just take my word for it.
As long ago as 2009, a World Public Opinion poll found that 51 percent of Iranians hold a favourable opinion of Americans. Other polls have said the same thing.
Even US allies like India aren't that supportive.
Americans are more widely liked in Iran than anywhere else in the Middle East.
Why would anyone want to destroy that?
There was a report in the Business Insider online newspaper a few years ago that said that “to travel as a Westerner in Iran is to be routinely stopped on the street and welcomed by curious and generous strangers.
“A clear majority of Iranians want the nuclear talks to succeed. If talks fail, many expect that moderates like the current president would lose power to religious hardliners.”
Who would benefit from that other than a US president that wants to shore up his support by acting tough on the world stage and the weapons manufacturers who donated such a lot of money to get him elected?
The more you look at Iran, the better it seems.
Unlike in Saudi Arabia, a close ally of the US and the UK, women in Iran have long had the right to vote, drive, and travel alone. Women have served in parliament and in cabinet, and they get to go to universities.
And apparently Iran has the second highest rate of gender realignment surgery in the world, which is not the sort of thing you would expect of a country that you only get to see portrayed on television as a group of furious beardies shouting “death to America!”.
On International Women's Day, Donald Trump spoke out against sex discrimination.
He winked so hard his comb-over fell off.
It comes to something that the president of Iran can speak more authoritatively on gender equality than the president of the United States.
There is another Iran to the one you think you know. More than half the population is under 24 years old.
They don't want war, they want Game of Thrones.