By Payman Yazdani

Trump’s policy toward Saudi to be subverted by Clintonites: Kovacevic

February 25, 2019 - 9:46

TEHRAN - Prof. Kovacevic says Tump administrations policy toward Saudi Arabia will eventually be subverted by the Clintonites who would prefer a regime change in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. is rushing to transfer sensitive nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia, according to a new congressional report.

The issue was discussed with Professor Filip Kovacevic, University of San Francisco.

Here is the full text of his interview:

Q: What can be the consequences of such an act for the region?

A: What has to be understood is that, at this time, the U.S. ruling political class is seriously divided between the Trump people and the Clintonites. In other words, between the nativist/nationalist faction and the neoliberal/globalist faction. This is the case in every Department of the U.S. government: the Defense Department, the State Department, the U.S. intelligence community, etc. I see this particular foreign policy decision as being linked to the Trump people, but it is possible that it will eventually be subverted by the Clintonites who would prefer a regime change in Saudi Arabia. 

Q: As the Saudi Kingdom is the main sponsor of Takfiri extremism all around the world, what can be the consequences of such an act globally?

A: I think that Saudi Arabia is embroiled in serious internal political problems. The ruling family is divided and so are its international partners. The EU and the Clintonites support one wing of the ruling family; the Trump administration and the Israelis another. We will see who will prevail. In order to distract public attention from internal problems, Saudi military and intelligence might launch operations outside of the country. However, I don’t expect them to involve the use of any weapons of mass destruction. 

Q: U.S. is committed to the Israeli regime’s security. Can such a move create possible threats to the security of Tel Aviv despite current cooperation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv?

A: This depends on which wing of the ruling family prevails in the Saudi internal struggle. So far I don’t see much danger to Israel. I think we should not underestimate the fact that the U.S. president Donald Trump proclaimed the policy of ‘America first.’ This means that the U.S. will primarily begin to look at the Middle East from the position of its own national interests, strictly defined, and not through the position of its present allies in the region. Trump wants to withdraw some forces from the Middle East in order to focus on the areas closer home. He wants the U.S. to become a major exporter of energy resources and sees the Middle Eastern oil-producing countries as economic competitors for the European and Asian markets. For him, making money is more important than ideology. 

Q: Comparing the U.S. reaction to Saudi missile and nuclear programs with its reaction to Iran’s ones, isn’t the U.S. policy enjoying double standard?  

A: The double standard is the essence of the U.S. foreign policy just as it is the essence of the foreign policies of any government, either big or small. This is nothing to be surprised about. The U.S. sees Iran as the main geopolitical enemy in the region, from the economic, political, military, and ideological point of view. However, I think that the relations of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia may turn sour, too, if the Saudis do not obediently spend billions of dollars to buy U.S. products. The current U.S.-Saudi relations hinge on economic blackmail. 

Q: What is Trump after in the region by such destabilizing acts?

A: Making money. Opening markets for U.S. companies and products. He runs the U.S. the way he ran his own business. If you buy his stuff, you are a friend. If you don’t, you are an enemy. His rationale is simple to understand. However, he does not operate in a vacuum and the Clintonites in the U.S. Congress will soon begin the procedure to impeach him. I think he will have less and less time for any kind of sustained foreign policy. He may act rashly and that is the biggest dangers for world peace. The powers of Eurasia are rising, and the fractured U.S. political class is unable to formulate a constructive response. 

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