Alwaght-US Presidential candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton held their first debate on Monday with Iran dominating this faceoff.
Trump continually slammed Hillary Clinton over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in July 2015, but the former Secretary of State responded by saying the deal has succeeded.
“You started the Iran deal, that’s another beauty,” Trump said to Clinton, “you have a country that was ready to fall, I mean, they were doing so badly…and now they’re going to be actually probably a major power at some point pretty soon, the way they’re going.” He later went on to call the agreement “one of the worst deals ever made by any country in history,” a “horrible deal,” and one that shows that “Hillary has experience, but it’s bad experience.”
Clinton stood firmly behind her support for the Iranian deal, arguing that she’d “rather deal with the other problems having put that lid on their nuclear program than still to be facing that.”
Clinton added that, “Donald never tells you what he would do. Would he have started a war? Would he have bombed Iran? If he is going to criticize a deal that has been very successful in giving us access to Iranian facilities that we never had before, then he should tell us what his alternative would be. But it’s like his plan to defeat ISIS. He said it’s a secret plan. The only secret is he has no plan.”?”
Clinton claimed that when she became secretary of state in 2009, “Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle…they had built covert facilities, they had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away. And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn’t enough. So I spent a year and a half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran and we did drive them to the negotiating table.”
The former first lady went on to say that the JCPOA “put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot.”
Focus on Iran
Foreign policy continues to play a significant role in US elections due to the fact that the president is also a commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Foreign is an integral part of both parties’ campaigns with the West Asia region and especially Iran dominating the first presidential debate. The recently implemented Iran nuclear deal has been a cornerstone Obama administration policy and one that has become a critical issue in the campaign. Democrats support the deal and back the president who believes it is part of his foreign policy accomplishments while the Republicans strongly oppose the deal, and many have threatened to renege on it upon taking office.
The strong Zionist-Jewish lobby in the US compels both candidates to blast Iran while guaranteeing support of the Israeli regime. A day before their first debate, Trump and Clinton met Israeli Regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York. During the separate meetings, they both pledged to guarantee Israel’s security which in effect implies continuing the policy of pressurizing Iran to appease Tel Aviv. Regardless of their stances on JCPOA, both candidates are bent on continuing the Iranophobia project which is an integral part of Washington’s foreign policy.
Iran to Maintain Independent Policy
US presidential candidates need to understand that the Islamic Republic of Iran remains a truly independent state whose system of governance continues to inspire many. The arrogant US government feels challenged by the Iranian nation and government’s support for the oppressed masses. Iran’s power has thwarted Israeli regime’s expansionism and retreat to a defensive position.
In the Persian Gulf region, Iran is an unrivalled power which has stood up to the US hegemony and even forced Washington to retreat from the region and especially Iran. The independent stances adopted by Iran in the international arena pose a major challenge to US foreign policy. Hegemonic powers led by the US have opposed the Islamic Republic since its inception but have failed to achieve any of their objectives. The presidential debate is a seasonal ritual in the US and regardless of who occupies the White House after Obama, Washington is set to pursue its belligerent, antagonistic, and arrogant policies which have put it at loggerheads with Iran.