Aug 5, 2019, 5:36 PM
Journalist ID: 2382
News Code: 83426262
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Confusion strategy or strategic confusion?

Tehran, Aug 5, IRNA - Western media consider US President Donald Trump's decision to extend its nuclear exemptions alongside a sanction against Iran's foreign minister and close diplomatic channels as continuation of the White House's contradictory policies.

The proportional response of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Washington's departure from the JCPOA and the European countries' failure to comply with their commitments is considered a major factor in Western officials' calculations, especially the White House. Although Tehran's crushing response has led Washington to pursue its policies more cautiously, the US government has shown contradictory policies, examples of which have been the extension of Iran's nuclear exemption in recent days in the form of the JCPOA and putting the name of Iranian foreign minister in the list of sanctions.

Tehran has taken two steps to reduce its obligations so far in response to Donald Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Iran has insisted that if the same trend continues, it will take a third step vigorously.

In spite of heavy propaganda by Trump last month to intensify pressure on Iran, the US media said the US president has extended the exemptions for companies active in Iran's peaceful nuclear program for three months. Iran's international nuclear cooperation with the international community, especially in Arak Heavy Water Reactor and the Fordow Nuclear Center, were among the provisions of the JCPOA. After consulting with his close associates, Trump appears to have seen no effect on his anti-Iranian policies so far. For this reason, many media outlets, such as the Associated Press, cited the current situation as a tough test of Trump's maximum pressure approach.

The Politico analyst also with reference to Trump's decision to extend the nuclear exemptions, saying the US president disappointed hardliners against Iran. After all the White House efforts to exert maximum pressure on Iran, the pressure did not increase, despite the demands of hardliners. According to the analysis, Iran's nuclear steps have led some US lawmakers to agree with the hardliners, but it should be noted that ending the exemption would put more pressure on Iran, but not only could the tensions between Tehran and Washington have increased but also could increase EU dissatisfaction and the danger of confrontation in the region.

The US president's decision to extend the exemptions came amid John Bolton and Mike Pompeo's struggle to increase Tehran's pressure based on Treasury Department Secretary Steve Mnuchin's proposal. Until last week, however, Trump insisted on ending all Iranian exemptions. US media assessed the US President's actions as another contradictory message about White House policies, which came as a result of hardliners remarks and diplomatic efforts. An example of these double standards is Donald Trump's permission to Rand Paul to meet Iranian officials and the US Secretary of State's willingness to travel to Tehran. At the same time, Trump also issued a message on Twitter about Iran's negotiating ability. The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif's sanction, which took place under these circumstances, is a different step and a clear sign of the White House's confusion to adopt a clear strategy for Iran.

Despite these issues, some analysts, such as Michael Duran of the Hudson Institute, believe that the US government feared that non-renewal of the exemptions would increase the level of tension. But the question that remains is whether it is better for the United States to begin negotiations when Iran's nuclear activities are legitimate and international laws and observers from Europe, Russia and China also participate. This is definitely the preferred approach.

The unpredictable policies of the US government during the Trump presidency are only confusing. The extension of nuclear exemptions came as a positive move just when the US Treasury Department listed Iran's foreign minister for sanctions. The Global News website reports that Trump's plans have contradictory policies toward Iran, which even put the White House's maximum pressure approach in a vague direction.

According to the analysis, Trump supporters saw an end to these exemptions in the context of increased pressure on Iran, but could simultaneously exacerbate tensions between the White House and Iran and even European allies. The same decision, according to some sources, created gaps in the Trump administration.

It was these disagreements that delayed the White House's final announcement of the sanctions twice. According to Global News, these are a series of contradictory messages that Trump delivers on Iran, causing confusion among supporters and even critics of the US president. Some experts believe sending unspecified messages will intensify the Persian Gulf conflict. A Carnegie Institution expert also believes that the problem that has always existed is that the United States did not have a coherent policy, and that it sent obscure messages that increased the risk of miscalculation. As Trump moves to accelerate the cycle of pressure on Iran, he pretends to be opposed to the conflict.

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