By Javad Heirannia

Britain will become more inclined toward U.S.: academic 

February 21, 2017

TEHRAN – Professor Nader Entessar from South Alabama University tells the Tehran Times that Britain’s foreign policy “will become more aligned with that of the United States” after Brexit.

Entessar also says “since Washington and London have had a “coordinated approach to Iran for several years now, the contours of UK's relations with Iran will not change dramatically." 
Following is the text of the interview:

Q: What will be the impact of Brexit on the British foreign policy, particularly toward Iran?

A: Britain's foreign policy will become more aligned with that of the United States.  Of course, this is not a major shift from the UK's foreign policy approach, which has generally been more American-centric than Euro-centric.  With respect to Iran, I think Britain will try to play it both ways.  But if shove comes to push, it will side with the United States in its approach towards Iran, although it will take a more nuanced tone than Washington's Iran policy.

Q: What is the impact of Trump’s election on Iran-England relations?

A: Since Washington and London have had a coordinated approach to Iran for several years now, the contours of UK's relations with Iran will not change dramatically.  However, if the Trump administration's bellicosity towards Iran intensifies, it will have negative spill-over effects on Britain's relations with Iran.

Q: Can Brexit facilitate London’s arms exports to Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region more easily?

A: Prior to the Brexit, Britain was already a major exporter of conventional weapons to several Arab countries in the Persian Gulf.   With or without the Brexit, Britain will continue to be a principal weapons exporter to those countries and a major source of cash income for the United Kingdom.

Q: Can Trump’s election affect Iran-EU relations?

A: There are already indications that the EU will want to strengthen its commercial relations with Iran, and the EU officials will do their utmost to continue Brussels' tepid rapprochement with Tehran by highlighting the differences between the EU and the United States in their foreign policy approach towards Iran. However, we have to remember that the Europeans have caved-in to Washington's demands and threats in the past and may do so again if the Trump administration pressures them to change course on Iran.  I don't think Europe has the wherewithal to act as a truly independent player in its relations with Iran.   

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