Trump in White House: Challenges & opportunities

A positive atmosphere was created in Iran following the conclusion of the JCPOA, which elicited reactions from some regional countries and the Republicans in the United States.

Donald Trump’s term in office will begin in less than 20 days and, thus, it takes the length of the stint to say more about the future of ties between Iran and the US.

Regional issues and Iran-US ties are of the utmost importance. Iran played an effective role in taking the positive step in resolving the Syrian crisis and will receive great credit in the region in case of any improvement in settling Syria’s issue prior to Trump’s inauguration.

The resolution of the unrest in Syria would face regional countries with a serious truth about Iran which would, in turn, compel them to alter, to some extent, their policies and approaches towards Tehran. This will certainly affect Washington’s new approach towards Tehran. The responsibility Trump opts to recognize in the first phase of his presidency in dealing with Iran would also have bearing on the US policies toward Iran and its viewpoint about the country.

It takes some time until a new president learns about the details of the realities and complexities of his/her country’s relations with the rest of the world.

Prior to taking office, Trump has adopted a relatively negative attitude toward certain issues such as those pertaining to the NATO and UN.

However, his stance toward the JCPOA as well as his election campaign slogans on the issue were aimed at garnering more votes. In case he opts to keep even 20 percent of his vows in this regard, he will encounter serious challenges in the first phase of his presidency.

Currently, Iran is leaning toward Russia more than ever in political and security arenas where Russians have great expertise. This, per se, will have its own reflection in the US.

The European Union’s stance on Iran – particularly with regard to the extension of the sanctions against Iran imposed on the country during Bill Clinton’s tenure, would be another area which might impact the US decisions. During Clinton’s term in office, the EU announced that D’amato’s unilateral sanctions against Iran were against the regulations of the World Trade Organization and human rights.

Following that, France’s Total began its operations in Iran’s South Pars gas field, Bushehr Province, irrespective of the consequences of not observing D’amato law.

The EU’s positive attitude toward funding Iranian projects, transferring technology to the country and their blasting of the US unjust embargos can also affect Tehran-Washington relations.

The Trump administration will make its decisions based on the world’s current condition and exigencies.

Iran is also required to heed US interests in negotiations. By the time the two countries fail to address their mutual interests in resolving problems, they will encounter serious issues. The US possesses a large number of modern technologies Iran needs for developing its industry and economy. For instance, a large number of foreign companies have tried their luck in South Pars; but have failed to address the main problem.

In addition, Americans hold shares in most of the major foreign companies which makes it impossible for the firms to join a venture in a third country in the absence of the US consent.

Shadow of doubt is cast over Trump’s pragmatic stances with less than 20 days to his inauguration. Almost 80 percent of his statements, prior to his election, were aimed at winning votes. Only time will reveal what strategies he would adopt after assuming power. Recent deals with Airbus and Boeing are harbingers of optimism over the future of Iran-US trade ties.

Nevertheless any revisions in the deals will depend on the regional complexities and conditions, for the US makes decision based on the regional realities and developments.

Trump had earlier announced that he would forge relatively close ties with Russia.

At such a critical moment, Iran is expected to achieve a positive balance in its relations with the East and West to have enough elbowroom for making decisions in international political arenas.

Source: Iran Daily
Author: Davoud Hermidas Bavand

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