The recent developments have left many puzzled as to what are President Trump’s stances on Iran. Here’s a look at what a range of Bahrainis think about the US President’s changing views and positions on Iran, particularly after the sacking of National Security Advisor John Bolton. It was notable what a broad range of views there were about America’s Middle East policy; including many who expressed confusion about what the US wants with Iran.

“A rational move”

“Firing national security advisor John Bolton seems like a rational move. Bolton seemed like the only person who wanted to drag millions of people into a war due to pure hate for the Ayatollah regime. His strategy didn’t sound realistic. The Americans, Iranians and even the Gulf nationals would have paid a very high price for this war;” said Ahmed, aged 43, from Manama.

“Trump makes his policies up from one day to the next based on popularity ratings. One day he wants to be tough on Iran, so he hires Bolton. Then he wants to look like a deal-maker, so he sacks Bolton and pleads for Khamenei to talk to him… It’s all nonsense;” said Salman, aged 29, from Isa Town.

“You have to understand that for most people – and I mean here not the people you hear speaking in the media all the time; we don’t care about the politics: Who is with who? Who is against who? What matters is: Will there be stability? Could there be a war? Is life going to get better or worse? …We know Bolton is a warmonger. We remember him from the time of the Iraq war. He’s out of office – that has to be a good thing;” said Mariam, aged 46, from Budaiya.

“I think by firing Bolton, President Trump is opening doors for talks with the Ayatollahs. Yet again he recently stated that he was having ‘talks with the Taliban’ and somehow the idea of negotiating with terrorists is something that’s growing on him;” said Amal, aged 36, from Riffa. 

“Nothing this man does can be taken seriously”

“Nothing this man does can be taken seriously, he’s simply misleading the whole world into thinking that he is serious about challenging the Islamic republic. I guess he barely knows what he’s doing. He sounds and acts delusional. The leader of the free world is picking fights with celebrities while the world is going down the drain, this is truly insane!” Fatima 28, Saar.

“We always heard that Trump was the anti-Obama. But his foreign policies are stolen from Obama: He wants to pull US troops out of Iraq and Syria, even if that allows the terrorists to come back. He wants to have negotiations with Rouhani and Zarif, even if that lets them do what they want in the region. He may even end up giving the Ayatollahs billions of dollars just so that they’ll make any kind of deal with him. I don’t think that leaders in the Gulf should trust America to keep its promises, whoever is president;” said Ahmed, age 31, from Muharraq.

“We have to give President Trump some credit. By calling off the nuclear deal, he has put more pressure on the Ayatollahs. Their people are more unhappy with them, there’s a little bit more hope for regime change. However it is difficult for the Trump administration to decide the future of the Iranians and hence I totally understand the confusion and the chaotic situation America is in at the moment with regards to Iran” Khalid 36, Muharraq.

“Israel is bombing Lebanon, Syria and Iraq and nobody says anything… How does Israel get its weaponized drones to Iraq, or refuel its planes on the journey? It’s obvious that it is the Americans who are really behind this. America is already at war with Iran and Hezbollah, but it is too cowardly to say so, and gets Israel to do its dirty work… It doesn’t matter whether it’s Trump, Bolton, Obama or Bush making the decisions; America’s solution to everything is just dropping bombs on it;” said Mohammed, aged 27, from Sanabis.

“America should just go ahead and bomb Iran”

I hear a lot of people saying that America should just go ahead and bomb Iran. They’ll probably end up doing it sooner or later; so better just to get it over with… Trump is very impulsive. Today he wants talks, but he doesn’t know how tiresome Iran’s leaders can be. They will just mess him around and run circles around him. Let him talk to the Iranians and he’ll realize how crazy and demanding they are;” said Abdulrahman, age 25, from Hamad Town.

“Trump is starting his presidential campaign all over again. He’s torn between diplomacy and showing muscle to gain votes, hence he doesn’t know where that would leave him on the Iran issue. If he wages a war then he could lose the elections, it isn’t about saving the Middle East or the Iranian people, it never was and it never will be, what’s in it for him and what’s in it for the republicans? That’s what it’s all about” Hamad 32, Isa Town.

“The whole world calls President Trump crazy while he succeeded in having talks with Kim Jong-Un. This is a great success on its own no matter what we think of the North Korean leader, so what if Trump could have a negotiation with the Ayatollahs and reach to a peaceful agreement” Mariam 33, Budaiya. 

“Trump is simply creating more chaos in the region by marketing for a war that he and the whole region cannot afford. It will be ridiculous to drag us all into turmoil, as much as most of us would want to get rid of the evils of the Islamic republic” Faisal 30, Manama. 

“The Gulf needs a US President that takes tough action on the Ayatollahs”

“We’ve given Trump the benefit of the doubt for three years because we thought that he would sort out Iran. He won’t. American policy is made in Tel Aviv and the Israelis and Iranians have always plotted together to make trouble in the Arab world. Trump gave Jerusalem and the Golan to Netanyahu. Now Netanyahu wants the West Bank. What do we do? Nothing! Because we believe the lies fed to us by the Americans and others;” said Fatima, age 42, from Sanad.

“He’s all talk and no action, the Gulf needs a US President that takes tough action on the Ayatollahs and brings an end to their regime. There is no other way to long lasting peace in the region until they’re gone, this is a reality that we need to face and the world won’t be able to do it without the actions of a tough US president that understands the threats posed by the Ayatollahs” Eman 36, Manama.

“Trump seems very insensible and he needs to take tougher action on Iran. He’s literally acting like the Ayatollahs, perhaps like Khamenei, a man whose mostly talk and no action towards his own people, towards the region and towards the world, all these two do is try to show muscle and that’s it. Would love to see them both take it to the battle field and start a fight” Abdullah 34, Riffa.

“Bolton wanted to be as tough as possible on Iran, so leaders here liked him… Now nobody knows what Trump’s Iran policy is. Especially not Trump;” said Sara, aged 29, from Muharraq.

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