By Melissa Locker
April 23, 2018

On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his attention to diplomacy, a.k.a. “the thing that keeps us from immediately going to war with our enemies and from telling Lichtenstein how we really feel.”

The Trump Administration has a lot of diplomatic missions coming up, including a planned summit with North Korea and a state visit with French President Emmanuel Macron. Donald Trump also has to decide whether he wants to re-certify the Iran nuclear deal. Per Oliver, Trump may finally kill the arrangement. After all Trump has gone on record (well, Twitter) as not being a fan of the deal, calling it “horrible horrible incompetent one of the dumbest and most dangerous misjudgments ever.” The Iran nuclear deal may disappear on May 12, and few people are talking about it, which is why Oliver decided to focus on it.

The relationship between the U.S. and Iran is notoriously “fraught,” according to Oliver, who recapped its most salient historical points. When the world learned that Iran was developing nuclear weapons, the country was slapped with “crippling sanctions” to convince them to stop the program. To lift the sanctions, Iran had to promise to stop developing nuclear weapons, reduce their stockpiles of uranium, and only enrich uranium to levels so low that it was like “trying to get drunk off a single can of PBR.” Despite the fact that Iran currently does not have nuclear weapons and most of the other countries involved in the Iran deal have no interest in renegotiating it, Trump may call it off. According to Oliver, Trump has surrounded himself with what Oliver calls “Iran hawks” who want to reimpose sanctions on Iran, or worse. To hopefully convince Trump to stay in the Iran deal, Oliver once again bought an ad on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox.

If you want to learn more about the long, strange history of the relationship between Iran and U.S., Oliver suggests subscribing to the new podcast he launched with Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek called Talkin’ Tehran. “If you didn’t think that James Van Der Beek was an expert in Iranian history, you need to expand your expectations of what people are capable of,” Oliver joked.

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