By Zahra Sadat Khezri

Trump has already upset allies: Chinese professor

October 24, 2017

TEHRAN - A Chinese university professor believes that the Trump administration has already has “upset” Washington’s allies and set a “bad precedent” by withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement and the Trans Pacific Partnership.

On Oct. 23 Donald Trump declared the U.S. would not certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal despite repeated confirmations by the UN nuclear watchdog that Tehran is honoring its commitments.

Under the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for a termination of economic and financial sanctions.

On the motives behind such a decision by Trump, Prof. Shen Dingli says in “Trump’s view the Obama’s Iran nuclear deal has not benefited America enough, as it only obliges Tehran for ten years but still allows it certain right of nuclear development, albeit at a reduced level.”

Officials and analysts say Trump’s approach to the international nuclear deal has already caused a crack in confidence of Washington’s allies that America can keep its word. They even say if the nuclear deal is ditched it would set a bad precedent in the world and push the world toward new crises.

“America’s allies have already been upset, but they are somehow relaxed because Trump didn’t abolish the deal yet, though he could do so at any time later, much due to the worldwide opposition to his approach,” Dingli, associate dean of Institute of International Studies at Fudan University of Shaghai in China, tells the Tehran Times.

He says, “The Trump administration doesn’t need to use his handling of the Iran nuclear deal as a bad precedent, as he has already set such example through quitting Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and Paris Climate Change Accord.”

“They (Israel and Saudi Arabia) are dismayed that Trump isn’t straightforward to quit JCPOA right away.”

In his speech he called Iran a rogue state. However, he himself is presenting the U.S. as a renegade country state by contesting the UN-endorsed nuclear agreement.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have been the only countries in the world which have praised Trump’s strategy towards the nuclear deal.

Dingli says Israel and Saudi Arabia “are dismayed that Trump isn’t straightforward to quit JCPOA right away.”

European Union foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has said the nuclear deal is an international agreement and Trump cannot unilaterally terminate it. She has also said the European Union will remain loyal to the international deal with or without the United States.

Dingli says, “Even if the U.S. quits (the deal), Iran still could commit to stay with it. Then, the deal, without the U.S, would stay. But if Iran would follow suit, then the deal will not survive.”

Some Democratic lawmakers have expressed concern that a withdrawal from the deal could lead to war in the Middle East.

Dingli says such a viewpoint “makes some sense though could be exaggerated.”

“If the U.S. withdraws from the deal, Iran would have reason not to be bound by it as well.”

He also says if the Trump administration quits the nuclear deal then Iran has reason to remove limits on its nuclear activities. “If the U.S. withdraws from the deal, Iran would have reason not to be bound by it as well.”

Iranians both inside and outside the country and with whatever political tendencies were angered when Trump referred to the centuries-old name Persian Gulf as “Arabian Gulf”. Most analysts and politicians believes Trump purposefully used the fake name for the Persian Gulf to please Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries.

However, the professor of Fudan University says this is not important issue.

“Takes it easy.  South Korea calls Japan Sea East Sea, though Japan Sea is not necessarily Japan’s. The Philippines calls South China Sea as West Philippine Sea, and Vietnam calls it East Sea, though South China Sea is not necessarily China’s. In the same vein, Persian Gulf is not necessarily Iran’s.”

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