Trump’s Desperate Attempts to Contain Iran

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Sun 15 October / Oct 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Most of the world doesn’t share Donal Trump’s enthusiasm towards his strategy on Iran.

Some of the United States’ own allies, including members in the UN’s Security Council, have announced they are going to sticking by the nuclear agreement with Iran.

They even warned Congress of the consequences of pushing for measures that would endanger the security of the US and its allies.

Meanwhile, the US realises the fact that pulling out of a unanimously agreed deal at the Security Council is a futile move.

The US cannot pull out of this deal. Because by doing so, they would be giving Iran a reason to retain its previous status, before the deal, which only amplifies the threats of developing nuclear weapons.

Unable to change a thing, given the unanimous position of the European Union, Russia, and China, Trump resorted to launching a campaign, that would lead in his next step; sanctions.

Trump is unable to change anything about the deal with Iran, and the administration, president included, does not like it.

All but helpless and frustrated, Trump’s next move would be the delivery of a bundle of sanctions against Iran.

The nature and scale of these sanctions remain unclear at this point, but they is likely to fall through, given that world’s disagreement.

If at all these sanctions should see the light, they’re unlikely to have any significant effect on the Iranian economy, since the UN is unaligned.

It is obvious that many western states have already launched feasible and strong economic programmes with Iran. Naturally, they are unwilling to forego the anticipated returns of these programmes to please Trump and heed his isolative agendas.

This is especially true at this point, as US-EU ties see unprecedented deterioration, owning mostly to Trump’s counter Atlantic-partnership policies.

In the meantime, it makes no sense for Russia to side with the US on Iran, given the strategic relationship between Moscow and Tehran, on multiple tiers.

Regionally too, with the exception of Israel, Trump’s strategies will not find favour among the countries of the Middle East. Not even Turkey, who is —now more than ever— largely invested in rebuilding ties with Tehran, to belt up against the Kurdish threat.

This is aside to the economic partnerships between the two, Iran and Turkey.

Likely, a number of Gulf states may find in Trump’s disparate attempts some solace, and end up joining in on this effort to contain Iran’s threat to their own security.

However, it won’t be easy for them to balance between their own interests and the basic principle over which the entirety of Trump’s policy was built; serving Israel’s best interests.

Gulf countries have only recently begun to understand that there is no alternative to dialogue with Tehran. Only through coming to an understanding can the crises of the entire region, maybe, be alleviated.

In the meantime, the US administration under Trump, no matter how power, cannot turn back time.

The nuclear deal is now a reality.

In fact, it is perhaps the most practical, feasible deal to contain Iran’s aspirations to develop nuclear weapons.

No nuclear oversight and inspection programme enforced on any country in history was ever as tough and as strict as the one enforced on Iran.

On the other hand, Iran’s growing influence in the region cannot be addressed in sanctions and fragmented military operations. That is unless Trump is beginning to seriously consider the crazier option!

Arabs have no interest in backing strategies that serve Israel’s goals, this much should be clear.

Not to underestimate the dangers of Iran’s growing influence in the Arab region, supporting a strategy like this does not serve our purpose, ultimately.

We need to devise an Arab approach towards Iran and the region. One which would enable us to co-exist with our historical neighbours in peace.

An arrangement must be founded to address the interests of the entire region and its states, as well as putting an end to sectarian disputes that serve only our demise.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.