Trump revives worries of war with Iran

Posted by Saeed Kamali Dehghan at The Guardian, 20:37:

Ordinary Iranians were on tenterhooks, monitoring the developments closely, particularly any immediate impact on the country’s national currency, which hit an all-time low last month, prompting panic-buying of hard-to-find dollars amid political uncertainty.

Trump’s decision to reimpose sanctions is likely to exacerbate the state of the economy at the time when public discontent is rife. In January, protests over economic grievances that began by the end of last year spread in an spontaneous manner to as many as 80 cities, taking on a political dimension. The unrest resulted in the death of at least 25 protesters and jailing of more than 3000 people – many of whom remain in prison.

Sadeq Zibakalam, a prominent political commentator and professor of politics at Tehran University, struck a pessimistic tone about the consequences of Trump’s decision in Iran.

“Many people are worried about war,” he told the Guardian on phone from Tehran. “Whenever the country faces a crisis in its foreign policy or economy, the situation gets better for hardliners, they’d be able to exert their force more easily.”

He added: “At the same time, hardliners will gain politically from this situation, because they’ll attack reformists and moderates like [President] Rouhani that this is evidence of what they had been saying for years, that the US cannot be trusted, and that US is always prepared to knife you in the back.”

Zibakalam, who is close to the reformists, said he did not think it would take long for Europeans and other nations to follow in the footsteps of the US, because they won’t endanger their economic ties with Washington, which would outweigh the benefits of doing business with Iran.

“In the short term, the radical faction in Iran will be strengthened, this is good for the hardliners, this will boost their position in Iran’s political system,” he said.

Foad Izadi, a Tehran-based conservative political analyst, said Trump’s aim was to confront ran with greater force. “This shows that the idea that you can negotiate with the US and reach an agreement won’t bear any fruits, not only he wants to reimpose sanctions that had been suspended, he wants to impose new sanctions.”

Izadi said Iran can withstand the pressure. “For 40 years, we have been living under sanctions. The collapse of the nuclear deal will mean that we have to find ways to circumvent sanctions, something we have done in the past. The institutions that have been doing that now need to be reequipped.”

“When relations between Iran and the US goes down from bad to worse, the risk of confrontation and war, particularly in the region, goes up,” Izadi added.

Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), said Trump’s “reckless decision” puts the US on path to war with Iran.

“Donald Trump has committed what will go down as one of the greatest acts of self-sabotage in America’s modern history. He has put the United States on a path towards war with Iran and may trigger a wider regional war and nuclear arms race,” he said.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.