Trump’s Iran Policy Mainly Aimed at Spoiling Obama’s Legacy: Expert

Undated photo of US President Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama. / Photo by Getty Images

Reza Nasri, an international lawyer and foreign policy analyst, says US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and his re-imposition of US sanctions on Tehran are mainly aimed at spoiling the legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama.

I believe that the main purpose of Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA was to spoil Obama’s most important foreign policy achievement,” Nasri said in an interview with Khabar Online.

However, he added, Trump announced after the withdrawal he was after returning Iran to the negotiating table by implementing a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran to resolve various issues, including regional ones.

What follows are highlights of his remarks in the interview:

The truth is that the Islamic Republic has never left the negotiating table, so no one can now force it to return to the table by re-imposing sanctions.

Today, Iran is negotiating with other countries over the issue of Yemen, Syria and the regional relations. What has actually happened with the exit of Trump is Washington’s departure from the negotiating table! The truth is that economic pressure will not make Iran negotiate over its security.

Nevertheless, over time, at best, the Trump administration – perhaps with the pressure of Europe and Democrats – will gradually become aware of this fact, as the Obama administration also agreed to compromise after reaching such an understanding.

The Trump administration has to constantly balance the “pressure on Iran” and the cost it creates for the US itself. That’s why he could not bring Iran’s oil sales to zero due to its fears of unnecessary rise in oil prices.

On the contrary, in order to prevent the intensification of pressures, it is imperative for the Iranian government not to allow this balance to be established. In other words, the Iranian government must always act in such a way that sanctions or increasing pressures would not be cost-effective for the US.

Adopting such a policy also requires that, firstly, the economic situation and the price of the currency be managed in such a way that the Trump administration does not assume its sanctions have been “effective”.

And secondly, the political stability within the country and the position of President Rouhani’s government should be in a way that the Trump administration does not take it for granted that it could endanger the peace and stability of the country by imposing sanctions.

Indeed, if the balance is not maintained and the above factors are well managed, it is possible that the Trump administration would realise the ineffectiveness of the sanctions against Iran, or before he can put more pressure on Iran, his term would end.

Since the Islamic Revolution, the cooperation between Iran and Europe has never been so good. Indeed, three factors have led Iran and Europe to jointly engage in a new strategic partnership against the United States: Promoting Iran’s status in the international arena, the EU’s determination to shape a new independent bloc, and the decline of US power.

Rouhani’s government and FM Mohammad Javad Zarif have been able to seize this opportunity on time to create and manage this cooperation.

How this cooperation will continue depends on many factors and the performance of the parties. The fact is that many currents and actors inside and outside the country are trying to disrupt this cooperation, and we must wait and see how well they will succeed in achieving their goals.

   
   

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