22:38 GMT +317 January 2020
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    Barack Obama is having a good time on the white sandy beaches of Hawaii as his successor is fanning the flames of tensions with Iran. Obama’s whose Iranian legacy has been virtually killed off before his very eyes under Donald Trump, has so far remained silent on the recent developments.

    Former US President Barack Obama was spotted paddle-boarding as he spends the holidays in his native state of Hawaii.

    The 58-year-old was photographed shirtless, wearing what looks like a magnetic ankle band that deters sharks.

    According to photos published by the Daily Mail, Obama was followed by a Secret Service agent in a kayak. Obama was seen falling off the board a few times, but kept paddling on.

    The former president is vacationing in Hawaii together with his family. Hawaii News Now reported on Friday that he and his wife, Michelle, had a night out at a steakhouse and seafood restaurant together with his half-sister Maya Soeoto-Ng and her family.

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    Former first daughters Malia, 21, and Sasha, 18, also came by for Christmas but have since left the islands, according to the newspaper.

    Although the 44th POTUS remains vocal on politics two years after leaving office, he has stayed away from speaking out on hot-button issues in the past two weeks and made do with Christmas and Hanukkah congratulations on social media.

    Michelle Obama has recently revealed how their life changed after they dropped their younger daughter off to college in the fall.

    “We’ve rediscovered all these little pockets of time, just me and Barack, that for a couple decades have been filled with school events or sports practices,” she told People magazine in an interview published last month. “We’re taking full advantage of this new normal, simply spending time with each other and remembering what brought us together in the first place.”

    Their married-without-children holiday break overlaps with a tumultuous time back in DC, where Donald Trump dedicated much of his time erasing Obama-era regulations and agreements, including the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

    Obama's Iranian legacy falling apart

    After quitting that pact, Trump re-instated tough sanctions against Iran as part of a campaign of maximum pressure to bully the nation into a new agreement. The one signed under Obama, he claimed, had failed to prevent Iran from supporting terrorism in the Middle East and working on nuclear weapons, although there had been no relevant allegations from international watchdogs.

    Tensions with Iran rose dramatically over the past year as a logical outcome of that policy, culminating this week into the killing of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general, in Iraq in a US drone strike.

    Donald Trump branded the assassination as self-defence, claiming without evidence that Soleimani had planned attacks against American assets in the region. Iran has vowed to retaliate, raising prospects of another armed conflict.

    Incidentally, Trump had in 2011 forecast that Obama would seek war with Iran to boost his electoral chances. Less than 11 months before the presidential election, he might fulfill his own prediction.

    Tags:
    Donald Trump, Iran, Hawaii, Barack Obama
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