In his latest remarks, Hooshang Amirahmadi, Iranian-American analyst and a professor of Rutgers University, New Jersey, has analyzed possibilities rising from Donald Trump’s presidency in the Middle East. Amirahmadi analysis paints a bleak prospect for the future of Tehran-Washington relations, but offers plans for damage control.
“There is a strong possibility of tension between Iran and Trump’s America in the short-term and middle-term” says Amirahmadi, citing one likely cause of that Donald Trump’s failure to deliver his domestic promises and bring change to economy and politics, and the need to divert attentions.
“Trump has formed a war cabinet” says Amirahmadi, pointing to his choices for national security advisor and secretary of state, both “staunch anti-Iran” figures. Amirahmadi adds that leaders of Trump’s party, that is, the Republican Party, have been harboring grudge against Iran for being sidelined during nuclear negotiations. Meanwhile, despite his opposition to the regime change policy, “Trump has shown no consistency in his rhetoric and practice, and has changed his position opportunistically” warns Amirahmadi. Thus, the new US president may eventually switch to a regime change view.
Rutgers University professor also gives a counterintuitive advice: Iran should welcome Trump’s call to renegotiate the nuclear deal, but place it in the larger framework of negotiating over a wide range of differences. “Iran has made little profit from the JCPOA” Amirahmadi says. “Renewing negotiations may help move some stumbling blocks from the nuclear deal.”
What would happen to Iran-Arab relations, already in a tense state thanks to the nuclear deal and conflicts across the Middle East? Amirahmadi believes that if Trump is to take sides, he will back Saudi Arabia. In that case, Iran should proactively seek détente with Arab states of the region the analyst suggests. Amirahmadi also warns that unlike what some observers in Iran have argued, Trump’s friendlier relations with Putin will not necessary benefit Iran. “In the past, whenever America and Russia have been closer, Iran has had less to gain” he says.
“Trump will form a war cabinet” Amirahmadi notes. “To deal with this cabinet in a reasonable manner, Iran should also form a war cabinet”.
“This is about showing muscle, [not an actual war]” he says.