Oct 27, 2020, 11:33 AM
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Good and bad of US elections for Iran

Tehran, Oct 27, IRNA – If the US returns to the nuclear deal, Tehran and Washington can both take up “freeze” policy, meaning the US can stop its sanctions on Iran and release Iran’s blocked money and Iran in return can stop all its nuclear activities until the two sides can reach a comprehensive accord to normalize conditions, said an expert of international issues.

Speaking to IRNA, Amir-Ali Abolfath said the hot days of campaigning will be over in a week in the US with the polls indicating that the Democrat candidate Joe Biden is leading "But important factor is that the gap between Biden and President Donald Trump is narrowing in the key battlefield states that will in fact determine the next White House resident."

Abolfath said since the structure of the US presidential elections is so complicated, such polls are not so reliable because "it is not people’s votes that elect the president but those of the Electoral College."

Noting that Republican votes are in favor of Trump in both the House of Representative and Supreme Court, he added that "if the election is held with no fracas, Biden is more likely to win. But if candidates do not accept the results of the voting, then Trump has a better chance in the Congress and the Supreme Court."

Regarding the issue of Trump’s maximum pressure policy toward Iran, he said that Iran will face reinforcement of such policies if Trump is reelected.

The analyst said that Iran and the US are actually engaged in a war which is different from those of the 20th century. "This is a war of economies, sanctions, cyber-attacks, and proxy wars. This is the US’s first 21-century war. The war might go on with either Trump or Biden in office."

Answering a question about Trump administration’s confrontation with Iran, he said that the second government of Trump will create no negotiation opportunities with Iran because Trump’s high officials are vehemently ideological – evangelical, to be precise.

"They may increase pressure on Iran and create the chance for Tehran to expand relations with the East, i.e. China and Russia, which will decrease Iran’s vulnerability against the Western sanctions and increase domestic capabilities, he said, adding that it is very unlikely that Iran moves toward negotiations with Trump’s US unless they change their behavior," he added.

He also said that people like Mark Dubowitz, from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), believe that Iran needs one more blow to be KO’d and Trump should give it the blow.

Noting that there are many Iranians in the US intelligence and organizations like FDD and many other places who know Iranians, their psychology and mentality well; he said these people will tell Trump that Iranians are a rather prideful nation so if he wants to repel them from the negotiation table, looking on them will suffice.

The fact that Trump keeps repeating that Iran will beg for talks with the US in the first days of his second term and iran will be among the first to call him on his re-election can be interpreted in this framework, he said.

He went on to stress indeed Washington wants no talks with Tehran, reasoning that "if it does, then why it assassinated General Soleimani; sanctioned the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif, and the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps?"

Trump wants to break Iran so that there will be no talks – neither with his government nor the next one, he said, adding that Trump is seeking something with Iran like what they did to Japan and Germany after World War II – a total surrender – not a win-win negotiation.

Trump used the intimidation power of the US, but if Biden takes office, he will exercise the US power to form consensus against Iran, as former president Barrack Obama did to sanction Iran, he said.

Regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he said the US return to the deal is both an opportunity and a threat.

"If Washington returns to the deal, it is a relief for Iran for sanctions will be reduced. But the US will then have the chance to use the dispute resolution mechanism and trigger the snapback. Biden can keep the threat of restoration of sanction like a sword over Iran’s head and threaten Iran that if Tehran does not succumb to US will, it will restore the sanctions. In such a situation, China’s and Russia’s hands will be tied as well," he said.

If Biden takes office, he may return to the JCPOA and take up freeze policy with Iran, meaning the US can stop its sanctions on Iran and release Iran’s blocked money and Iran in return can stop all its nuclear activities until the two sides can reach a comprehensive accord to normalize conditions, he said, adding that he is so pessimist toward it because the US doesn’t want to displease its regional allies, especially Saudi Arabia and Israel, Abolfath noted.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu will do anything to stop a deal between Tehran and Washington, he said, adding that if Biden shows any flexibility on the issue of the JCPOA, he will act more strictly in other issues. He may remove the five nuclear-related sanctions and add five non-nuclear-related ones, giving Iran no points.

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