|At a Rouhani Rally in Ardebil, Iran|
Earlier today, the President of the United States spoke at a Summit of Arab and Islamic Leaders in Riyadh organized by King Salman of Saudi Arabia. It must be noted that Iran was not invited. This is also as Iran finished off a pivotal election and as Saudi Arabia and the United States signed a multitude of agreements--including over 100 Billion Dollars in Arms. What is notable is that the arms deal transcends all past deals of the past 50 years.
Our team here at #Outsiders has been assessing the post-summitt analysis as President Trump is about to leave for Israel. We have been working away on our Twitter Feed on the analysis at hand. As we work on a compliation of it all over the ensuing days--and as the President's Trip continues onward to the Vatican and the G-7--it is all occuring in the backdrop of looming challenges back in the United States. What our team found hillarious was how the President and Senior Aides participated in a Sword Dance with the King of Saudi Arabia and other princes.
As our team's assessment continues, we wanted to return to Iran and the aftermath of the Rouhani Elections. The chief challenger, Ebrahim Raisi, has filed a complaint with the Guardian Council alleging irregularities. It will not go anywhere because even the Mayor of Tehran--who withdrew in favor of Raisi--released a statement congratulating Rouhani on his win. What was quite teling, though, was the fruit merchant at a Rouhani rally in the City of Ardebil noted above that went viral on Iranian Social Media Channels. He struggled to make ends meet and had to end up selling his truck in order to continue to do business--and he voted for Rouhani. Many urged the President to print this image of this man with his hopeful gaze for President Rouhani to be reminded of the promises he made. President Rouhani noted on his Instagram Account--as he said he kissed the hand of every Iranian who voted for him--that he would not forget his commitments, his program and that there is no turning back. This is as he is facing headwinds on a major scale as underscored by the Iran-Bashing Rhetoric From President Trump.
Although a realism is at hand as we assess the state of affairs on the ground, we wanted to end this edition on a high note. Our team has been continually blown away by the striking production of the opening themes of the BBC Persian Service that captures the dynamism and profound challenges of the Middle East. We were also quite blown away by the fact that the BBC Persian Service has been in service for some 77 years which is quite a legacy--as we hope that the UK Government will see to it that this legacy endures. In our view, they did an absolutely fair and balanced reporting on the Iranian Elections as we hope all all enjoy these two recent productions of the "Countdown" as a new week dawns: