Friday, December 8, 2023

Analysts in Iran Differ on Repercussions of Trump’s Decision

Several Iranian figures have commented on the possible impact of Donald Trump’s antagonistic approach towards JCPOA, as the controversial US president is preparing to announce his stance on the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Sadeq Zibakalam, a political science professor and well-known analyst, said he believes reformists will be losers of Trump’s exit from the deal.

Speaking to Etemaad daily in an interview published on Monday, Zibakalam said the end of JCPOA will weaken the hand of reformists in the domestic political scene, as it will confirm the conservatives’ stance that the US is a hopeless case.

“The US pullout of JCPOA will benefit conservatives, as it will approve their opinion that the US is unreliable and the deal signed by [President Hassan] Rouhani was not to the country’s advantage,” Zibakalam said.

Ali Motahari, the vice-speaker of the parliament and an independent politician, said the US withdrawal is not a defeat for Iran, but it would deal a heavy blow to Washington.

In a talk with Etemaad on Monday, the deputy speaker said if Trump decides to walk out of the deal, Iran could say the US claims that Iran seeks nukes are wrong, as Tehran has been faithful to the deal and it was the US who broke its promises.

The lawmaker said Iran could choose to remain in the deal, if Europeans side with Iran and stand against Trump’s decision.

Motahari also said the US pullout will promote unity among the Iranian people.

Mohammad-Nabi Habibi, the secretary-general of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, said Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal is of no importance, as the US and Europe are already violating their commitments under the accord.

Speaking in a meeting of the party in Tehran on Sunday, Habibi said nothing is left of the nuclear deal and Iran should stand against the bullying approach of the US and Europe, a report by Tasnim said.

Reza Padidar, the chairman of Energy Commission of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, told IRNA on Tuesday that the US exit will not damage Iran’s foreign trade.

Padidar said in case the US pulls out of the pact, Iran’s trade with Asia and Europe in various sectors including energy will remain intact, as Tehran has signed long-term agreements with countries of those regions.

The official said Iran has no direct trade with the US, so it will not be harmed by the return of US sanctions, although Iran’s indirect trade with the US could be decreased.

Deputy Oil Minister Amirhossein Zamaninia has also expressed optimism that Iran will be able to maintain its current oil market and keep securing foreign investment in its oil industry.

Zamaninia said that Iran considers the deal alive “if we can continue to sell our oil and its products,” even if the United States pulls out.

“Also, we should be able to maintain Iran’s oil market, receive our oil money and secure foreign investment in our oil industry,” he added, addressing a press conference in Tehran on Monday, according to SHANA.

Trump announced late Monday that he will announce his decision regarding the JCPOA on Tuesday.

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