Doubts over Iran’s “West minus US” doctrine

Politics Materials 3 February 2016 22:30 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 3

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Iran's capability to build economic ties with the West excluding the US, in compliance with the "West minus the US" doctrine, is under doubt, believes an expert.

"Iran will be able to build primarily economic relations with individual European states, as well as the European Union and other US allies," James Dorsey, senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told Trend Feb. 3 commenting on the issue.

"Beyond that the US would be an integral part of anything the West does," he stressed.

In the early 1990s, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei put forward a doctrine known as the "West minus the United States". The doctrine, which envisages Iran's cooperation with the entire West excluding the US, has since then been followed by all Iranian administrations. Khamenei even banned any talks with the US beyond the nuclear issue.

Dorsey, while responding to a question about the major obstacles to the resumption of Iran-US economic ties, said the primary barrier is the remaining restrictions by the US with regard to the Islamic Republic.

It was primarily the United Nations' sanctions, rather than that of the US, that were lifted, he explained.

Iranian officials have repeatedly announced that Tehran is open for economic ties with the US, including presence of American businessmen and investors in the country. In the most recent similar remark, President Hassan Rouhani said that there is no restriction against entrepreneurs from the US to do business in Iran.

Further responding to the question whether West may sacrifice its principles, such as human rights, for economic interests in ties with Iran, Dorsey said, "the West does that regularly, why would it not do so with Iran too?"

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