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(I)ran So Far Away, Bienvenidos Paraguay, Ultrasound Selfies

Defying World, Trump says US Withdrawing from Iran Nuclear Deal

Eric Cortellessa, Times of Israel, May 8th 2018


President Trump announced that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, defying European allies who implored him to maintain an agreement that international agencies claim Tehran is honoring. “It didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will,” said Trump [1]. Iran is accused by Western powers of fostering terrorism through proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

The Context:

  • The 2015 agreement, which traded reduced Iranian nuclear activity for an easing of economic sanctions, was billed by Trump as a “horrible one-sided deal” since it only delays Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb instead of squashing it completely.

  • In light of the US withdrawal, American and European companies will have up to 180 days to wind down their operations in Iran or risk running afoul of the American banking system. Oil sanctions will require European and Asian countries to reduce their imports from Iran [2].

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump’s decision as a “historic move [3].” Trump cited Netanyahu’s presentation of Iran's nuclear archive last week as proof that Iran cannot be trusted to abandon its desire to develop nuclear weapons [4].

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran will continue to abide by the deal but resume nuclear activity if needed. In a rare public rebuke, former US President Barack Obama said Trump’s withdrawal would leave the world less safe, confronting it with “a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East [5].” Proponents of the deal rebuffed Trump’s concerns about sunset clauses saying these terms were meant to encourage future discussions with Iran [6].

  • Germany, France and the UK will attempt to keep the Iranian nuclear deal alive [7] and plan to meet Iranian leaders in the near future [8].

Conversation Points:

  • Would Trump have reversed the deal if Netanyahu didn’t invest so much political capital combating it?

  • Were Netanyahu’s quarrels with world leaders (and their consequences) regarding the deal worth it in the end?

  • Can the US be trusted to maintain agreements through administration changes? If not, how will that affect US credibility on the world stage?

After US and Guatemala, Paraguay to Move its Embassy to Jerusalem

Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, May 8th 2018


Paraguay will relocate its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of May, making it the third country, following the US and Guatemala, to do so. The US is scheduled to move its embassy to Jerusalem on May 14th. Israeli officials say "at least half a dozen" countries are now "seriously discussing" moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem [9].

The Context:

  • In contrast to the voting patterns of most Latin American states, Paraguay's President Horacio Cartes, whose campaign team included a group of Israeli advisers, has pursued a policy of supporting Israel in international forums. In recent years, Paraguay has consistently abstained or voted for Israel on major international votes.

  • Palestinian officials criticized Paraguay for “support[ing] Israeli occupation [10]” and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressed his hope that no other nation will follow Paraguay’s “act against international law [11].”

  • Israel views Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital, while Palestinians seek the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future independent state [12].

Conversation Points:

  • Does the US embassy relocation provide cover to nations seeking to do the same?

  • Are Guatemala and Paraguay looking to curry favor with the United States by following in its footsteps?

Israeli Device Would Let Pregnant Women Take Ultrasound Scans on Phone

No Camels, May 6th 2018


An Israeli startup developed a handheld ultrasound device that allows pregnant women to check the health of their baby using a smartphone.

The Context:

  • PulseNmore says its device can display ultrasound images on any smartphone and send them directly to a doctor for examination.

  • The device has been successfully tested in the US, can be used for up to 25 ultrasound checks and will retail for $190 [13].

Conversation Points:

  • Will mothers be less inclined to call their physicians about potential concerns when using PulseNmore or will the opposite be true?


  1. Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned, Mark Landler, New York Times, May 8th 2018

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Netanyahu: Trump made 'courageous' decision, Gary Willig, Israel National News, May 8th 2018

  5. Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned, Mark Landler, New York Times, May 8th 2018

  6. Iran's ballistic-missile spending will continue, official says after Trump's nuke-deal pullout, Edmund DeMarche, Fox News, May 8th 2018

  7. Trump Pulls U.S. Out of 'Disastrous' Iran Nuclear Deal, to Impose 'Powerful' Sanctions, Haaretz, May 9th 2018

  8. European foreign ministers to hold summit with Iranian leaders, Al Jazeera, May 9th 2018

  9. Paraguay's president to inaugurate Jerusalem embassy, Ynetnews, May 7th 2018

  10. Paraguay to follow US and move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, The Guardian, May 7th 2018

  11. Paraguay to Move its Embassy to Jerusalem, Aawsat, May 9th 2018

  12. Paraguay's president to inaugurate Jerusalem embassy, Ynetnews, May 7th 2018

  13. Israeli device would let pregnant women take ultrasound scans on phone, MICHAEL BACHNER, Times of Israel, May 3rd 2018

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