TOP NEWS Trump offers hero’s welcome to three Americans freed by North Korea Washington Post Mideast allies pressed Trump to ditch the Iran deal. Are they ready for what’s next? Washington Post European Companies Rushed to Invest in Iran. What Now? New York Times HASC Kicks Around Trump’s Nuclear Plan, Approves It Along Party Lines Breaking Defense EAST ASIA Trump’s Iran Decision Sends North Korea a Signal. Was It the Right One? New York Times5/9/18 In announcing his decision to exit the Iran nuclear accord, President Trump said he also wanted to send a signal about the kind of hard bargain he plans to drive with another longtime American adversary, North Korea. North Korea Frees American Prisoners, Lifting Hurdle to Nuclear Talks New York Times6/9/18 President Trump announced on Wednesday that North Korea had freed three American prisoners, removing a bitter and emotional obstacle ahead of a planned meeting between him and the young leader of the nuclear-armed nation. Trump offers hero’s welcome to three Americans freed by North Korea Washington Post5/10/18 Three Americans held captive for more than a year in North Korea arrived at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington well before dawn Thursday to a hero’s welcome featuring President Trump, Vice President Pence and first lady Melania Trump. Pompeo’s 13 hours in North Korea CNN5/9/18 The modified Boeing 757 had taken off from Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington late Monday night, bound for North Korea, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to the back of the plane. Trump’s Exit From Iran Nuclear Pact Adds Variable to North Korea Talks Wall Street Journal5/9/18 The move risks giving North Korea’s regime pause over U.S. reliability but it also signals a tougher line that could give Trump more negotiating leverage North Korea airline plans new China charter flights amid diplomatic thaw CNBC5/10/18 North Korea’s Air Koryo plans to launch charter flights between Pyongyang and Chengdu in south-west China, two airline officials told Reuters, amid a major improvement in diplomatic relations between the neighbours. Leaders of China, Japan and South Korea Will Work Together on Denuclearizing North Korea Time5/9/18 China, Japan and South Korea agreed Wednesday to cooperate on ending North Korea’s nuclear program and promoting free trade, two hot-button issues challenging their region. South Korea Hands Kim Jong-un a Path to Prosperity on a USB Drive New York Times5/10/18 For years, Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, has been cracking down on USB flash drives that activists smuggle into his isolated country to poison his people’s minds with outside influences, like South Korean K-pop music. China’s Risky Plan for Floating Nuclear Power Plants In The South China Sea The Diplomat5/10/18 Such plants would present serious safety hazards for China and Southeast Asia. MIDDLE EAST As North Korea frees U.S. detainees, Pence hints at opportunities in Iran CBS5/19/18 As President Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcomed home three Americans who have been imprisoned in North Korea, Vice President Mike Pence appeared to suggest that more Americans may be on their way home in the wake of the president’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal. Fact-checking President Trump’s reasons for leaving the Iran nuclear deal Washington Post5/9/18 President Trump’s reasons for withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal caught our attention. The stakes are huge, so Trump’s rationale merits scrutiny. Trump dumps Iran nuclear deal: What you need to know CNN5/9/18 US President Donald Trump has walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, breaking with allies in Europe and leaving the future of the agreement in doubt. Military Options Ready to Stop Iran Developing Nuclear Weapons: Mattis Military.com5/9/18 Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that the U.S. military has at the ready constantly updated plans to use force to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and the means to do so if diplomacy fails. The Iran nuclear deal’s unraveling raises fears of cyberattacks Wired5/9/18 The lull in Iranian cyberattacks on the West may be coming to an end. Jimmy Carter calls US exit from Iran nuclear deal ‘serious mistake,’ then talks health CNN5/10/18 President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal is a “serious mistake,” said former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Wednesday. EU Ambassador To The U.S. Reacts To Trump’s Decision To Leave Iran Nuclear Deal NPR5/9/18 NPR’s Audie Cornish talks with Ambassador David O’Sullivan, the European Union’s ambassador to the U.S., about President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo to press allies on Iran after moves on North Korea: U.S. officials Reuters5/10/18 Having returned from North Korea on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will embark on talks to persuade allies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia to press Iran to return to negotiations over its nuclear and missile programs, U.S. officials said. Relatives of American Prisoners in Iran Ask: What Now? New York Times5/9/18 Relatives of Americans imprisoned in Iran implored the Trump administration on Wednesday not to forget their loved ones, whose fates may have just become murkier now that the United States has quit the nuclear accord. Mideast allies pressed Trump to ditch the Iran deal. Are they ready for what’s next? Washington Post5/9/18 His closest allies in the Middle East — in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — had pushed President Trump to exit the nuclear accord with Iran, sharing his conviction that the deal had only encouraged Iran’s military adventurism in the region. Saudi Arabia set to pursue nuclear weapons if Iran restarts program CNN5/9/18 Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister told CNN on Wednesday that his country stands ready to build nuclear weapons if Iran restarts its atomic weapons program. EU can’t save Iran nuclear deal after U.S. move: senior Revolutionary Guard Reuters5/10/18 European countries are powerless to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran after the United States pulled out, the deputy head of the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said on Thursday. U.S. To ‘Prod’ And ‘Cajole’ Allies To Stop Doing Business With Iran, Official Says NPR5/9/18 The Trump administration is making plans to “prod” and “cajole” U.S. allies to stop doing business with Iran, a senior State Department official told NPR on Wednesday. Outlook for Israeli Leader Brightens as Prospects for Iran Nuclear Deal Dim Wall Street Journal5/9/18 President Trump’s pullout from Iran accord has scrambled Israel’s politics and boosted Netanyahu’s fortunes RUSSIA/FSU/EUROPE European Companies Rushed to Invest in Iran. What Now? New York Times5/9/18 European companies moved quickly to invest in Iran after it agreed in 2015 to mothball its nuclear weapons program in return for an end to economic sanctions. Europe, Again Humiliated by Trump, Struggles to Defend Its Interests New York Times5/9/18 It is by now a familiar, humiliating pattern. European leaders cajole, argue and beg, trying to persuade President Trump to change his mind on a vital issue for the trans-Atlantic alliance. Mr. Trump appears to enjoy the show, dangling them, before ultimately choosing not to listen. Iran Nuclear Deal Upheaval Shakes Up European Banks’ Outreach Wall Street Journal5/9/18 Smaller institutions that moved to rebuild bridges with Tehran face uncertainty after Trump re-imposes sanctions Russian, German top diplomats to discuss Iran in Moscow: agencies Reuters5/9/18 The heads of the Russian and German foreign ministries will meet in Moscow to discuss the situation around the Iranian nuclear deal, Russian news agencies cited acting Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on Wednesday. SOUTH ASIA What Trump’s JCPOA withdrawal means for India BrookingsTanvi Madan 5/9/18 In its response today, New Delhi was careful not to condemn the U.S. action—but it will not welcome the step, particularly as it comes at a time of global and regional flux and uncertainty. U.S. NUCLEAR POLICY HASC Kicks Around Trump’s Nuclear Plan, Approves It Along Party Lines Breaking Defense5/9/18 The Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review remains the topic of debate on Capitol Hill, with Democrats and Republicans sparring over nuclear deterrence. ‘Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it’: Trump weighs in on whether he’s deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize Washington Post5/9/18 President Trump said Wednesday that “everyone” thinks he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons — but added that it’s not something he would say out loud. President Trump a Nobel Laureate? It’s a Possibility New York Times5/9/18 For Mr. Trump, who has toggled with unsettling ease between volatile threats of “fire and fury” and impassioned calls for peace, the possibility of receiving a Nobel Peace Prize once seemed far-fetched. OPINION AND ANALYSIS Trump just opened the door for Iran to expand its nuclear capabilities The HillDaryl Kimball 5/9/18 Now, in response to Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions on firms doing business with Iran, Iran’s leaders could decide to exceed the tough nuclear restrictions established by the accord. Trump withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal. What now? Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsJohn Mecklin 5/8/18 With his decision today to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump has put the long-term future of the deal in doubt, at the very least. John Bolton: The Iran deal was betrayed by its own abysmal record Washington PostJohn Bolton 5/9/18 Its very premise has been betrayed by its own abysmal track record over the past two years. The U.S.-North Korea summit could be Trump’s ‘Nixon-to-China’ moment Washington Post5/10/18 While many analysts have lamented Trump’s hawkish approach to foreign policy, is it possible the president’s reputation as a hawk actually helps with the domestic politics of making peace with North Korea? Trump has put the US on a path to bombing Iran VoxMichael Krepon 5/9/18 The master of self-inflicted wounds has done it again. The constraints on Iran’s nuclear program embedded in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action weren’t good enough for those in Washington, Israel, and Saudi Arabia inclined toward regime change and “kinetic” options — otherwise known as military strikes. What makes Trump’s Iran deal pullout cataclysmic NY Daily NewsJoe Cirincione 5/8/18 With an avalanche of lies about the agreement, he rejected the global deal that stopped Iran from getting a bomb. In so doing, he has damaged American credibility around the world, broken faith with our closest allies and, most importantly, put us a path to a new war in the Middle East. Trump’s dumb decision to withdraw from the deal gave Iran the advantage War on the RocksAaron Stein 5/9/18 President Donald Trump’s decision to stop abiding by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has undercut American interests and has positioned the United States to fail. Trump creates a narrative for war The Guardian5/9/18 The US president’s invective is dangerous but should surprise no one. He relies on assertions that reinforce prejudices but have no basis in fact Taking stock of the damage Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists5/9/18 The coming weeks and months will be consumed with discussion of how to manage the consequences of President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear agreement with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Today, however, it is important to take stock of the damage. North Korea’s release of US prisoners doesn’t mean peace The GuardianPolly Toynbee 5/10/18 High expectations for the coming summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump are unrealistic and dangerous A State Department horror show: It has no idea what to do next on Iran Washington PostJennifer Rubin 5/9/18 The Trump administration, and more so, the voices egging on the Trump administration, need to give up the pretense there is a coherent Iran policy that justifies backing out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iran: Keep Your Finger Off the Cyber Button Council on Foreign RelationsRobert Knake 5/9/18 Tehran could respond to the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal with cyber operations against U.S. companies. If it does, that might give the hawks in the White House the excuse they need to trigger a military confrontation with Iran. Is Washington Too Focused on Iran’s Nuclear Program? Foreign AffairsMichael Singh 5/9/18 Why It’s Time for the U.S. to Prioritize Rolling Back Tehran’s Regional Gains Europe must make Trump pay for wrecking the Iran nuclear deal The GuardianSimon Tisdall 5/9/18 Britain should cancel the president’s visit and join with allies to impose diplomatic and economic sanctions on the US Trump’s new Iran strategy succeeds or fails in Syria Washington PostJosh Rogin 5/9/18 Pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal was the easy part. Now, Donald Trump must implement the strategy he just announced — to confront Iranian aggression and expansionism in all its forms. What Sanctions Mean to Iranians New York TimesAmira Ahmadi Arian and Rahman Bouzari 5/10/18 The July 2015 nuclear deal officially ended Iran’s isolation and economic punishment, but the comprehensive sanctions that the country had endured for nearly a decade continued to take a toll. A Courageous Trump Call on a Lousy Iran Deal New York TimesBret Stephens 5/8/18 Of all the arguments for the Trump administration to honor the nuclear deal with Iran, none was more risible than the claim that we gave our word as a country to keep it. Trump’s Most Foolish Decision Yet New York TimesSusan Rice 5/8/18 President Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal will not force Iran back to the negotiating table, nor will it address serious concerns about Iran’s behavior in the Middle East. But it will leave Iran’s nuclear program unconstrained, and an inconstant America isolated from its allies and far less safe. Trump to Iran: America’s Word is Worthless New York TimesRoger Cohen 5/8/18 President Trump is withdrawing the United States from an Iran nuclear deal that has worked, in the name of unrelated demands that are unworkable, at very high cost to America’s alliances and the value of its word, with no viable alternative policy in place and at the risk of igniting the Middle East.