nuclear deal

‘You’ve made a mistake’: Iran’s supreme leader challenges Trump’s decision to exit nuclear deal

Barack Obama, who had signed the pact in 2015, said the US president’s decision was misguided.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei challenged United States President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal, saying, “You cannot do a damn thing”, according to AP. He called the decision “silly” and “superficial”.

“He [Trump] had maybe more than 10 lies in his comments,” said Khamenei, according to the Independent. “He threatened the regime and the people. Mr Trump, I tell you on behalf of the Iranian people: You’ve made a mistake.”

Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would pull out of a nuclear agreement with Iran, and called the deal “decaying and rotten”. It was signed in 2015 during former President Barack Obama’s tenure.

The nuclear deal, signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations, Germany, the European Union and Iran, had lifted decades-old sanctions on Tehran on the promise that it would tone down its nuclear programme considerably.

“The Iran deal is defective at its core,” said Trump, according to The Washington Post. “If we do nothing, we know exactly what will happen. In just a short period of time, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

The US Treasury said economic sanctions would not be re-imposed on Iran immediately. There will be wind-down periods of 90 to 180 days for Iran companies to adjust to Trump’s decision. European companies doing business with Iran will have six months to finish their business or face sanctions, said US National Security Advisor John Bolton, according to BBC.

Iran says it is committed to the deal

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said he would speak to allies and the other signatories of the nuclear deal. “If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place,” he said. He accused the US of not respecting its commitments.

Iran has time and again claimed that its nuclear programme was entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. “I have ordered the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran to be ready for action if needed, so that, if necessary, we can resume our enrichment on an industrial level without any limitations,” said Rouhani.

Decision is misguided, says Obama

Former US President Barack Obama called Trump’s decision misguided. “At a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans,” he said.

Other signatories like France, Germany and the United Kingdom said they “regret” the decision. The foreign ministry of Russia said it was “deeply disappointed”.

United Nations General-Secretary Anonito Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” by Trump’s decision. “I have consistently reiterated that the JCPOA represents a major achievement in nuclear non-proliferation and diplomacy and has contributed to regional and international peace and security.” He called on other participants of the deal to abide by their respective commitments and asked member states to support the agreement.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said the bloc was “determined to preserve” the deal. British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in their statement, “This resolution remains the binding international legal framework for the resolution of the dispute about the Iranian nuclear programme. We urge all sides to remain committed to its full implementation and to act in a spirit of responsibility.”

Hillary Clinton, 2016 US presidential candidate, said pulling out of the deal was a “big mistake”. “As Secretary of State, I helped negotiate the crippling international sanctions that brought Iran to the table,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “It would be much harder a second time, now that our credibility is shot.”

United Kingdom’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said, “UK will work with E3 partners and the other parties to the deal to maintain it.”

Israel and Saudi Arabia supported Trump’s decision.

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.