The Iran Project

Follow China in dealing with Trump, advises veteran Iranian diplomat

Iranian Diplomacy- Donald Trump’s first serious step in the White House prompted much criticism. The executive order that banned nationals from seven Muslim-dominated countries, including Iran, has proved to be controversial. The UN’s advice for tolerance, Angela Merkel’s negative assessment, and street rallies across the US are only parts of the reactions it provoked during the first one or two days.

However, the backlash was not limited to protests and condemnations. District Judge Ann Donnelly ruled against the order to save those stranded in airports. According to her ruling, nobody could deport individuals who entered the US with a valid visa.

Some analysts had predicted that Trump would act wisely once inside the Oval Office, but that has turned out to be far from the reality.

Former Iranian diplomat Ali Khorram believes that Trump is digging the US an early grave and the iceberg has only shown its tip yet. Khorram told Fararu that Trump is creating quagmires for the US one after another and ends up with impeachment or backing off from his controversial conduct.

Asked in an interview with Fararu about how he evaluates Trump’s recent order, Khorram said neither Trump nor the American society thought he would actually become the president and that is why he felt free to say whatever he wanted, with bombastic, populist, and empty slogans.

Speaking about the entry ban, Khorram said if the logical basis was to bring security and fight terrorism, none of the nationals from the countries affected by the visa ban committed acts of terrorism against the interests of the US, Europe, or any other places. He then brings Iranians as an example who took no part in either 9/11 or any other terrorist operation. “Trump’s move should have included nationals of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, and Afghanistan, it had any logic,” the analyst added.

Former Iranian diplomat added that Trump had made a huge quagmire from every viewpoint and he would continue to do so if he keeps following the same approach. “His remarks, like what he said about women, sow division, hostility, and tension and that is the reason behind opposition from US allies like Merkel, Hollande, and Theresa May,” Fararu quoted Khorram as saying.

“Inside the US, [almost] every institution has launched a campaign against Trump and a Federal Judge has ordered to nullify the ban against those who have already entered the US, preventing their arrest or deportation. Another judge in Virginia has done the same; state governors have taken opposing stances while lawmakers and human rights activists have stood against him. Logically, you cannot advocate such a person,” Khorram reiterated.

Ali Khorram said it was why America is struck by division and similar backlashes are coming from outside the country. “Mr. Gorbachev said that 2017 is a year in which Trump takes the world on the edge of the abyss of war and we see in practice that Trump’s words and actions have provoked the world,” the analyst noted.

In response to a question on how domestic resistance from inside the US society could restrict Trump, Khorram called the resistance successful and argued that they could put an end to Trump’s unconventional behavior. “According to the media, the number of those who gathered in protest to Trump on the second day of rallies in front of the Congress was 70 percent more than that of the inauguration,” he said. “Trump’s executive policies will escalate the opposition. He has no more than two options: give up his empty, senseless policies to become an ordinary president or wait for impeachment by the Senate,” he added.

Speaking on the criticality of the situation, he said the US is not just another country and should be seen as one of the pillars that maintain stability in the world. “The US plays too important a role to afford the rule of an abnormal person. The government of such a person in the global south could harm a single country and its surrounding region but it may harm the whole world in the US and that is not what the world could stand,” Khorram told Fararu.

When asked to predict the prospects for US ties with Asia, Iran, and other Islamic countries, the analyst noted that Trump has provoked both Islamic countries and China, among others. “Even Russia is constantly warning that despite its resolution to improve ties with the US, it has serious differences with the county that cannot be put aside. Russia is wise enough to know that Trump could not go ahead without understanding and that the vital interests of the US, Russia, and China cannot gather on one side. They may tolerate each other for a while but will have to confront eventually,” argued the veteran diplomat.

“Following Confucius’ teachings, the Chinese will act sophisticatedly. As we see, they have not shown reaction yet. However, they take care of their own business, regardless of Trump’s fanfare. Trump has provoked every side from Europe to Asia and Islamic countries. Trump’s friendship is quite ephemeral,” he added.

Asked about the approach he suggests for Iran to adopt toward Trump, he noted that Trump’s Iranian advocates should rectify their policies. “It is just the beginning and Trump is an iceberg: only one-eighth of his policies is on display. If he continues his policies, a hostile situation will break out. Thus, those who cheered [over Trump’s presidency] should now be held accountable. If Clinton was in office, all she would do was to adopt stricter human rights policies compared to Obama,” Khorram told Fararu.

However, he advised against any confrontation on Iran’s part, saying Trump has his many enemies inside and outside the US and is busy making new quagmire for himself. [So] We do not need to get involved, he added.

Khorram said he believed Tehran should follow the example of China, that is, ignore Trump and take care of its own business, ensuring that Trump will be finished in the US, Europe, Russia, and China. “We do not need to be armed to teeth to go to war. If we do so, others will immediately turn against us and Trump’s aggression toward us will be legitimized,” he said.

Former diplomat urged Iran to shelve part of its propaganda and let the world finish Trump, instead of deeming it a religious duty to take action against the US president because “we are already under Republican aggression and that would be against our interests”.

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