|Will Kerry come with an iron fist in a velvet glove?||
U.S. President Barack Obama’s nomination of John Kerry to replace current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to create some changes in U.S. foreign policy, especially in the approach toward Iran.
In response to political developments in the Arab world and other parts of the planet, the U.S. president is looking for a new diplomatic approach to meet the United States’ strategic requirements. And the nomination of Kerry is part of Obama’s reshuffle of his security team, which will also include the replacement of the defense secretary and the national security advisor.
The United States’ economic woes and the decline of its influence in the international arena have created new strategic requirements for Washington. This has compelled the U.S. government to adopt softer stances in the areas of foreign policy and defense and to moderate its position toward the rising powers.
Kerry’s nomination for the post of secretary of state is in line with this policy since he is known for his soft diplomatic approach. However, the Republicans and the Zionist lobby are strongly opposed to such a moderate attitude since it may impact interactions between the U.S. and its major foes, including Iran.
Kerry may be of assistance in normalizing Iran-U.S. relations, but Iran’s position on the issue should also be taken into consideration. After Obama’s election in 2008, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that any improvement in Iran-U.S. relations would only be possible if the one who is reading and interpreting Iran’s position is not associated with Israel and does not place Israel’s interests above the interests of the United States.
Over the past four years, Israel has become more and more important in U.S. foreign policy, and the increased clout of the Zionists has even caused disputes in the U.S. government. Clinton’s opposition to the Iran-Brazil-Turkey declaration of 2010, in which the three countries reached an agreement to revive a stalled nuclear fuel-swap deal, clearly showed that she has always been totally opposed to the White House’s efforts to normalize relations with Iran. In fact, Clinton’s raison d’être in the U.S. government has always been to serve the interests of Israel and to counter Iran in any way possible.
During his years serving as a U.S. senator, before he was nominated for the post of secretary of state, John Kerry was always welcome in Israel because of his Jewish roots. But if he really wants to thaw relations between Iran and the United States, he must distance himself from Israel as much as possible. Otherwise, Iran will see him as another person coming with an iron fist in a velvet glove.
Mohammad Jamshidi is a professor of international relations at the University of Tehran.
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