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Tillerson and Haley’s trash-talk on Iran was brought to you by Sheldon AdelsonMiddle EastPhilip Weiss on April 20, 2017 5 Comments
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imageTrump with Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, photo from Andy Aboud in Vegas, undated     Two days ago the State Department said that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, then yesterday Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stomped all over that headline, saying the deal is a “failed approach” and the U.S. is reassessing Iran– with the suggestion that the U.S. might back out of the deal.I regard Tillerson’s remarks as “performative,” to use the leftwing word for lip service. Donald Trump has also blustered about the deal. And there is one clear context for Tillerson’s remarks. The Trump’s administration’s dependence on a donor, Sheldon Adelson.The same day that Tillerson woofed at Iran, it came out that Adelson had given $5 million to Trump’s inauguration festivities– the largest such donation in U.S. history, per the New York Times. We all know how important that celebration was for Trump.Adelson was similarly generous to the Trump campaign. A year ago, Adelson “announced he will pour $100 million into the formerly self-funded Trump campaign,” per Newsweek. There was no clear bottom line on that spending through November. But it was a lot. $25 million, according to the Guardian, $35 million, according to the Forward,Adelson’s one issue is Israel; and his view of Iran is entirely oppositional. In 2013 at Yeshiva University in New York, he called on the United States to nuke Iran– with Bret Stephens, since minted a New York Times columnist, sitting there scratching his forehead.
What are we going to negotiate about? I would say ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ …You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’ And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever. Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development.

The new ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is also echoing the Adelson line. Bloomberg reports today:
On Thursday, Haley will try to turn the spotlight from Israel to Iran, the latest target of the Trump administration’s tough talk.Haley, who holds the rotating presidency of the United Nations’ top decision-making body for April, wants to use a monthly meeting on “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” to tackle Tehran’s role in Yemen and Syria and its support for Hezbollah, topics she sees as more central to the theme of Middle East peace.

Haley is also in the hole to Adelson. Last year Adelson gave $250,000 to a political committee in South Carolina that targeted opponents of then-Governor Haley:
Conservative mega-fundraisers Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers gave Gov. Nikki Haley’s political advocacy group a major infusion of cash to help in her bid to remove four Republican state Senate rivals in primaries this spring.Adelson, a Las Vegas casino mogul who was the top Republican donor of the 2012 presidential campaign, sent $250,000 to Haley’s A Great Day SC three weeks before the June primaries.The Koch brothers gave the group $50,000, according to quarterly Internal Revenue Service filings.

Haley had come through for Adelson in 2015, when she passed the first law against boycotts of Israel— about the same time as Adelson convened an anti-BDS summit in Las Vegas.And Haley was the belle of the ball at the AIPAC conference last month, when she went on and on about kicking Israel’s enemies with her high heels and stomping on BDS and UN apartheid reports and even moderate Palestinian appointees at the U.N.Ironically, Trump himself noted Adelson’s use of money to exert political influence. In October 2015, Trump warned that Adelson was going to own FL Senator Marco Rubio, making him his “perfect little puppet.”- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/tillerson-brought-sheldon/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=0910ced010-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-0910ced010-398518285&mc_cid=0910ced010&mc_eid=45d1a89542#sthash.jDpQglD4.dpuf

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