In an interview shortly following U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht predicted—speaking from direct experience—that any deal Kim reached with Trump could be short-lived and warned "it is not clear that he would not cancel the agreement before returning home."
"The United States, especially Mr. Trump, has undermined international agreements and has unilaterally withdrawn from them."
—Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, Iranian government spokesman
Having just been on the receiving end of the Trump administration's most significant hammer-blow to diplomacy—namely, its decision to ditch a six-nation nuclear accord that was negotiated over a period of several years—Iran is perhaps better-positioned than any other nation to assess Trump's reliability as a negotiating partner and "dealmaker."
"The United States, especially Mr. Trump, has undermined international agreements and has unilaterally withdrawn from them," Nobakht noted on Tuesday, alluding to the Trump administration's decision to violate the nuclear deal, which is vastly more comprehensive than the "thin" and extremely vague joint statement Trump and Kim signed at the close of their summit.
"We are not optimistic about these talks," Nobakht concluded.
Members of the Iranian government were hardly the only ones citing the U.S. president's decision to abandon the landmark nuclear accord in assessing whether Trump will stay committed to gritty diplomatic discussions when the photo-ops end.
It’s good that Trump is negotiating with North Korea, hope that it can avoid a needless war. Wish that he’d done the same with Iran instead of blowing up a sensitive nuclear agreement for domestic political reasons.
— Murtaza Mohammad Hussain (@MazMHussain) June 12, 2018
Kim Jong Un must be laughing so hard at the Iranians. "You agreed to the most intrusive inspections and you even dismantled 2/3 of your centrafuges. Didn't you know all you needed to do was to wait till the Americans elected a clown who would do anything for just a photo op???
— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) June 12, 2018
While applauding the U.S.-North Korea talks as a step away from the war path, independent foreign policy expert Derek Davidson concluded that "Tuesday's 'agreement' was almost entirely free of any substance. For a guy who has heavily criticized the Iran deal and previous agreements with North Korea, Trump's big achievement amounts to much less than those previous agreements."