Alwaght– Election of Donald Trump as the new president of the US has unleashed a slew of questions and speculations about Washington’s future approaches in dealing with West Asia region’s and the world’s issues, as well as the opportunities and threats that this election can bring forth for the Islamic Republic of Iran. The speculations are majorly broken into optimistic and pessimistic ones and none of them has a comprehensive view of the issue.
Relying only on campaign stances of the Republican Trump who insisted that he will focus on the American domestic economy instead of military interventions in the West Asia region, some analysts suggest that the power vacuum deriving from the possible US military absence in West Asia will give Iran an extraordinary opportunity to expand it influence even further in the region. Still, some other groups of analysts highlight the anti-Iranian Trump standings during his election campaign addresses and suggest that Tehran will be put under even heavier strains by a Trump administration and its allies. These pressures will force Iran to adopt a passive approach in its future policies, they argue. They build this Iran-related argument on the Trump’s anti-nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Although both sides’ analyses are worth taking into account, without doubt a one-sided view of the case cannot give an answer to the main argument. In fact, Trump’s stances along with those of his fellow Republicans should be regarded together in a wide circle so that we can juxtapose the Republicans’ fixed policies and the campaign positions of Trump in a bid to reach a comprehensive analysis.
To obtain this goal, we should at the same time put an array of factors like the Republicans’ security and military view of the issues or their deep hostility to Iran together with Trump’s campaign stances like prioritizing fight against the ISIS terrorist group and other radical groups and possible Washington’s closeness to Moscow in Trump period.
With consideration of a collection of these factors we can make a fair prediction on the US’ future policies and also on Iran’s threats and opportunities deriving from such American politics. Accordingly, we can also predict that with a consideration of the possible US-EU rifts on such cases as future of US membership in the NATO, the bilateral trading ties, and the JCPOA, the American and European relations in the upcoming years will be plagued by deep challenges. This can provide Tehran with a considerable chance of boosting ties with the EU, particularly in the trading and economic sectors. Or if Trump concentrates his policies on battling ISIS terrorists and Washington pulls its currently operating forces out of Iraq and Syria, this will prepare the ground for the Islamic Republic to largely beef up its role as a key actor in the region.
On the other side, as the US supportive stances for the Israeli regime opened Tel Aviv’s hands for implementing its illegitimate policies in the region, aggressive approach to the international nuclear accord with Iran and adding to the list of the anti-Tehran economic sanctions by Donald Trump and the Republicans who now have a sway over the Congress and the Senate could be regarded as main threats Iran has ahead during Trump’s period.
But aside from the would-be threats and opportunities, there are some issues that carry the potentials of being either a threat or an opportunity at the same time. Clarification of this issue to a large extent depends on the emergence of Trump’s future standings and, besides, his morale for dealing with these issues.
Meanwhile the future of the US relations with Russia and also Saudi Arabia is under close scrutiny of the media because of the new president’s stances on these two countries during his election campaign. Although Trump in his campaign speeches several times talked about openness to Moscow and moving away from Riyadh, for now it is difficult to prefigure that Washington’s relations with these two countries in Trump time will go to which direction, especially that we know the Russians are at odds with the Americans on a set of issues and their interests conflict, while on the other side the Americans share some interests with the Saudis.
So, if we seek to study Iran’s threats and opportunities in the time of Donald Trump from the sole aspect of the nuclear deal or on the contrary ignore the future of this agreement with Tehran, our analysis will suffer from being unidimensional and so will decline to be sufficient as an analysis. Because JCPOA is just a small part of a vast field in which the American and Iranian interests and rifts meet. Actually, now we cannot have a prediction of the real policies and approaches of the new US foreign policy team, and we should wait Trump’s official arrival in office to hear his stances in an atmosphere other than that of the election campaign. This urges Iran to have an all-encompassing look at the possible threats and opportunities coming from Trump’s presidency and policies in a bid to plan correctly for dealing with them.