Editor’s Note: Donald Trump laid out his foreign policy vision on Wednesday. Here’s what he said – and how countries around the world have reacted to Trump’s comments in the past. We will update this story with fresh reaction as we get it.
What Trump says: President Barack Obama “negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran” on its nuclear program, and Iran “ignored its terms before the ink was dry,” Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said in his speech. “Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. … Under a Trump administration, Iran will never, never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” He said the deal had strengthened Iran at the expense of Israel.
What Iran said in the past: President Hassan Rouhani said in December that the Republican candidates for president could hardly find Iran on a map. “Sometimes when I would have time, some of it was broadcast live and I would watch it – some of it was quite laughable. It was very strange, the things that they spoke of,” he told CNN through an interpreter. “Some of them wouldn’t even know where Tehran was in relation to Iran. Some of them didn’t know where Iran was geographically, not distinguishing that one is the capital of the other.”
What Trump says: Because of mistakes in Iraq, “the vacuum was created that ISIS would fill.” Trump also faulted Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for failing to “name the enemy – radical Islam.” He said he had opposed the war in Iraq. And he criticized the Obama administration for trying to create western democracies in countries that had no interest in it.
What Iraq said in the past: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi criticized Trump’s comments on Muslims in a 2015 interview with Rudaw: “At a time when all countries of the world have realized the risk of extremist ideology and how it offers sanctuary to terrorism that threatens everyone, without exception, and the need to fight it and eradicate its roots, irresponsible remarks and more extreme were made such as those recently issued by Donald Trump who is trying to win the nomination for election to the U.S. presidency.”
What Trump says: Israel has been “snubbed by an administration that lacks moral clarity,” he said, calling the country America’s friend in the region. “President Obama has not been a friend to Israel.”
What Israel said in the past: In December, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Trump’s remarks about Muslims. “The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens,” his office said in a statement. “At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, and threatens the entire world.”
What Trump says: The candidate said that neither friends nor foes respect America anymore. “When President Obama landed in Cuba on Air Force One, no leader was there, nobody, to greet him,” Trump said. “Perhaps an incident without precedent in the long and prestigious history of Air Force One. Then amazingly, the same thing happened in Saudi Arabia. It’s called no respect. Absolutely no respect.”
What Saudi Arabia said in the past: In December, Trump called Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal “dopey” and accused him of wanting “to control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money.” The Prince called Trump a “disgrace” and urged him to drop out of the race.
What Trump says: Obama “has even allowed China to steal government secrets with cyber attacks and engage in industrial espionage against the United States and its companies,” Trump said. And he added, “Fixing our relations with China is another important step – and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect. We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now.
“Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. No respect for this country or this president.”
What China said in the past: In an editorial published in March, China’s state-owned Global Times newspaper condemned the billionaire candidate as “big-mouthed” and “abusively forthright.” The article claimed Trump was initially supposed to “act as a clown to attract more voters for GOP” – and implied that the Republican party lost control of Trump, who has now become the party’s worst nightmare.
What Trump says: “The list of humiliations go on and on and on,” Trump said. “President Obama watches helplessly as North Korea increases its aggression and expands further and further with its nuclear reach.”
What North Korea said in the past: In mid-April, a North Korean official slammed Trump’s suggestion that South Korea and Japan could arm themselves with nuclear weapons. “Donald Trump’s remarks are totally absurd and illogical,” says Ri Jong Ryul, deputy-director general of the Institute of International Studies in Pyongyang. “Trump’s remarks give us deeper look at America’s hostile policy against my country. Simply put, America’s hostile acts against us are making the situation on the Korean peninsula worse.”
What Trump says: “Russia … has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only, is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.
“Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great – not good, great – for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.”
What Russia said in the past: “He is a bright and talented person without any doubt,” President Vladimir Putin said of Trump in December, “an outstanding and talented personality.” And in remarks closely mirroring Trump’s assessment of the campaign, the Russian leader called Trump “the absolute leader of the presidential race.”