(JNS.org) In the third and final presidential debate, Iran, Russia and Middle East policy continued to dominate the sharp disagreement on foreign policy between Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“Iran should write us a letter of thank you, just like really stupid, the stupidest deal of all time,” Trump said, when discussing the ongoing offensive against the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq. “A deal that is going to give Iran absolutely nuclear weapons. Iran should write us yet another letter saying thank you very much. Because Iran, as I said many years ago, Iran is taking over Iraq. Something they've wanted to do forever. But we've made it so easy for them.”
While the final debate, held Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), started out on a calm note with both candidates discussing the economy and the U.S. Supreme Court, things quickly got heated.
For her part, Clinton attacked Trump for his refusal to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country’s suspected role in hacking the emails of her campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and attempting to influence the election, as well as Putin’s place in the Syrian Civil War.
“Will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election … [and] reject Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past?” Clinton asked.
Trump retorted he believes Putin doesn't respect the U.S., and it would be better if the two sides got along. “If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS that would be good,” he said. “[Putin] has no respect for [Clinton].”
In their back and forth, Clinton later added that Syria will continue to remain a problem as long as Russia supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Syria will remain a hotbed of terrorism as long as the Civil War, aided and abetted by the Iranians and the Russians, continues.”