Will Trump Be Successful in Driving Iran To The Negotiating Table?

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By

Avery Coleman

 

 

Since the end of the second World War, America’s position in the world has meant that its foreign policy decisions largely dictated the foreign policies of the entire globe. While in the past, American actions were somewhat predictable which allowed for other nations to navigate around the new world superpower, Donald Trump has completely changed American foreign policy as we know it.

 

This radical shift from traditional American foreign politics that perennially focused on US ‘economic interests’ into an eclectic and tumultuous style that is the Trump administration’s signature, has presented both advantages and disadvantages in the world. Trump’s trade strategies have strained the relationship between it and other nations such as Canada, Mexico, the EU, and China.

 

However, on the other hand, his unorthodox tactics have brought a glimmer to the goal of normalizing relations with a particular unlikely country, North Korea. With the controversial conference between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Vietnam concluded, pundits are looking to the Middle East in anticipation of the United States’ next move in international relations.

 

Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, US-Iranian relations have ranged from tense and adversarial to nonexistent. The Obama Administration’s 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal sought to reopen a good faith line of communication between Washington and Tehran to a significant level of success. However, last year Donald Trump pulled out of the deal due to perceived bad behaviors from Iran in and throughout the region.

 

While the Trump Administration has been placing increasing political and economic pressures on Iran, many are waiting to see if something similar to the situation in North Korea occurs between the US and Iran. It is still too soon to tell, but there are a couple of reasons to believe that such a scenario has a chance of happening.

 

For one, the sanctions on Iran have taken a serious toll on the economy. Iran is currently going through an economic crisis as a result of the adverse actions Trump has taken against the country’s exports and financial sectors. While the Islamic country has proven to be quite resilient to outside pressures, there is no doubt building tension within the country due to this newest round of economic troubles. There is a strong desire for relief within Iran, strong enough to possibly drive Tehran to renegotiate its relationship with Washington.

 

Second, the culture of Iranians is a conflicted one that is at an impasse between modern liberal values and traditional Islamic ones. Consider the youth in Iran; there is a growing movement within Iran’s youth that yearns for a more Westernized Iran that they have heard existed prior to the 1979 Revolution.

 

Iranian culture is one that is strikingly different within different spheres of life. The same people who strictly adhere to the tenants of the Quran in public life, party and drink alcohol as if in a European nightclub in private life. One only needs to look at the lifestyles that Iranians outside of Iran live to understand. There is an incongruency between the two different worlds that the Iranian people occupy that may be surprisingly receptive to warmer relations with Washington.

 

Trump has several incentives to make the new Iranian talks a reality. Last month Trump was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in North Korea, and Trump, being a man who enjoys recognition, is sure to want to tie up the prize by adding Iran to his resume of normalized relations.

 

Further, stronger relations with Tehran would bring stronger US influence to the region, especially after having largely ceded the position in Syria. Still, such normalizations remain unlikely, however, if one thing is for certain, it is that nothing is certain as long as Donald Trump is in charge.

 

 

 

 

Avery Coleman

With a passion for politics and a love for writing, Avery is a contributor at the Red Blue Divide — a website devoted to informing, engaging, and inspiring political debate. Her only vice in life, a ridiculous amount of coffee — black.

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1 Comment

  1. Tom Arms March 15, at 19:38

    I do not believe that Trump wants a dialogue with Iran as long as it is governed by the Mullahs. What he wants is regime change. The reason is that Trump's policy is determined by its two Middle East allies-- Israel and Saudi Arabia. Israel will push America to snub Iran because Hezbollah-- Israel's chief terrorist adversary-- is a creation of and backed by Tehran. Saudi Arabia and Iran have fought each other for supremacy in the Persian Gulf for centuries and the rivalry is exacerbated by religious and racial differences. Trump does what the Saudis want because he wants the Saudis money and oil. He caves into Israel because of pressure from the American Christian religious right and the Jewish lobby.

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