Donald Trump playing ‘good cop/bad cop’ with Iran - expert

Nuclear Program Materials 23 August 2017 17:23 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 23

By Kamila Aliyeva – Trend:

US President Donald Trump’s public statements are quite strong while his politics is far more conciliatory, Associate Professor Gianluca Pastori, expert in history of political relations in North America and Europe, told Trend with regards to the latest remarks by Trump about Iran’s non-compliance with JCPOA, aka nuclear deal.

“In my opinion, Donald Trump is playing ‘good cop/bad cop’ with Iran. I do not think the US will really step back from the commitments assumed with the JCPOA,” he said.

Trump needs to appease both the Congress and the public opinion, in which anti-Iranian feelings are strong, according to the expert.

“At the same time, he cannot break the agreement, putting the US in a very difficult position,” he said.

Moreover, the European countries are increasingly active in Iran, at both political and economic level, while Moscow and Tehran share many common interests, according to Pastori.

“China is keeping a lower profile, but its relations with Iran are traditionally good and its role deemed to increase in the coming years,” he added.

Moreover, the US-Iranian crisis could negatively affect US-Russia relations – a centerpiece in Trump’s political agenda, the expert noted.

“This is way I believe that stick to the JCPOA is the best way – for the US – to pursue their regional interests. The main problem is the contrast existing between Trump and the Republican Party,” he said.

The President grudgingly ratified the sanctions against Russia, Iran, and the DPRK which were adopted by the US Congress last month, however, he is aware that no meaningful foreign policy can be pursued if the Congress opposes it, according to the expert.

“In this perspective, the need to keep a balance with the Congressional will could be a reasonable explanation of Trump’s apparently erratic behavior,” he added.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and Russia – plus Germany signed the nuclear deal on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

The agreement limits Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic Republic.

The US Congress requires the administration’s certification (every 90 days) of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. Trump’s administration has already declared Iran in compliance, as required by law, twice during his tenure.

Nonetheless, Trump’s remarks forecasting that the US would declare Iran non-compliant when the next review is due in September, have cast shadow over the future of the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers.