By Fateme Mohammadipour

Trump is a ‘dangerous person’: professor

September 21, 2016 - 14:56

TEHRAN - A professor of government and politics at George Mason University believes that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is a “dangerous person” when it comes to matters of foreign policy.

“He indeed seems to be someone who not only knows very little about foreign policy, but as someone who does not want to learn about its many complex issues.  And since much of what the President of the United States does relates to foreign policy, that is dangerous,” Mark N. Katz tells the Tehran Times

In what follows, the academic has answered a number of questions on the U.S. presidential elections, the nuclear deal and prospect of relations between Iran and the U.S.

Q: According to Data Targeting, a polling company, third party candidates have a good chance in the November elections. What is your opinion?

A: I believe that this data refers to candidates for president, and no other offices such as senator, governor, or congressmen.  I actually do not think that third party candidates for president, as in the past, have much prospect.  Because while some people might like them, when it comes to actually voting, many of those will realize that they do not have a chance of winning, and that a vote for any of them may actually help the candidate whom they like the least.

Q: What is your prediction of the presidential elections? Which party has a better chance of succeeding and why?

A: I think that the Democrats will win the presidency, but the Republicans will keep the House of Representatives.  The big question is whether the Democrats can win back the Senate, or whether the Republicans will be able to keep it.  And I don't feel confident about predicting that.

Q: Donald Trump's remarks about Putin and Saddam Hussein led 50 former security officials of the Republican Party to call him a dangerous person and said they do not support him. Do you yourself view Trump as a dangerous man?

A: It is truly remarkable that so many former Republican officials have criticized Donald Trump.  He indeed seems to be someone who not only knows very little about foreign policy, but as someone who does not want to learn about its many complex issues.  And since much of what the President of the United States does relates to foreign policy, that is dangerous.

Q: Hillary Clinton has recently criticized Trump for supporting the idea of carrying weapons. What is your opinion?
A: This is a complex issue which I have to admit I do not fully understand myself.  Much of the regulations with regard to who can own a firearms as well as when and where they may be carried is made at the state and local, and not national, level.  Congress is also resistant to changing the regulations at the national level.  So the President has very little ability to make change on his or her own.

Q: What is the priority of the American people in the presidential elections?

A: For the American people, the highest priority in voting for President is usually economic and social issues.  Foreign policy is not its highest priority.  In this regard, though, the American public at present is not interested in intervention (due to the unpleasant experiences with Afghanistan and Iraq), but it also wants America to remain influential in the world. 

The next American president, then, cannot simply cancel the agreement just by himself, or herself.  Trying to do so would not only worsen America's relations with Iran, but with all the other parties to the agreement too.  Q: What is your prediction of the relationship between America and Iran? Can the next U.S. president annul the nuclear deal with Iran?

A: The Iranian nuclear agreement is an international accord between Iran on the one hand and the P5+1 on the other, with the International Atomic Energy Agency playing an important supervisory role.  The next American president, then, cannot simply cancel the agreement just by himself, or herself.  Trying to do so would not only worsen America's relations with Iran, but with all the other parties to the agreement too.  
And while there are some countries which strongly opposed the agreement (Israel, Saudi Arabia), most Western countries support it--partly because they want to renew trade ties with Iran.  I don't think that a President Clinton would even attempt to cancel the agreement.  I am not sure a President Trump would either, though he might try (as he has said about so many international agreements) to renegotiate it.  This, however, would probably be opposed by the other P5 + 1 states.
As for the future of relations between America and Iran:  Our relations really should improve since we have several common interests, including opposition to jihadist forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, suspicion of Russia, and desire for increased trade and human interchange.  Unfortunately, though, the domestic politics of improving relations is very difficult for both countries.  It is very difficult in both countries to call for improved relations when there are powerful political forces that will harshly criticize those who do.


 

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