By Javad Heirannia

Biden would restore nuclear deal if he wins elections: George Washington University professor 

June 7, 2020 - 20:51

TEHRAN – Professor Hossein Askari, an expert on Saudi Arabia who also teaches international business at the George Washington University, if of the opinion that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would “restore, or rejoin, the nuclear agreement with Iran” if he wins the presidential election in the November elections.

“Biden would restore, or rejoin, the nuclear agreement with Iran. But now he would want an extension of the time that Iran could resume for nuclear research and have breakout capabilities,” Professor Askari tells the Tehran Times.
Professor Askari, who served as special advisor to Saudi finance minister, also says a Democratic president “would set about undoing Trump’s foreign policy errors.”

Following is the text of the interview:

Question: Unfortunately, the number of Coronavirus victims in the United States has exceeded 100,000. The Trump administration had predicted the death toll would not rise to that figure.  How do you think Trump will try to present his Coronavirus performance in the presidential elections?

Answer: Trump will resort to the playbook he has used. He will lie. He will bring up conspiracy theories. He will smear his Democratic opponent with personal attacks. He will blame others—China and U.S. governors. And he will boast about his achievements, which to me are almost nothing. He has brought the country to this point and he wants to win another term to avoid his legal troubles that have been on hold. He will do whatever he can, even if it means throwing the country into utter chaos and internal conflict.   

 ‘Please understand that Trump only cares about Trump’

Q: The effects of the Coronavirus outbreak on U.S. economy are also among the issues that have pushed Trump to try to lift the lockdown soon. To what extent can this contribute to the deterioration of the situation?

A: There is no doubt that the Coronavirus will be with us for years to come. There will be spikes and there will be a second and maybe other waves to come. But with a vaccine and treatment options we can deal with it, much as we do with the flu. But today, the rapid loosening of restrictions will, in my mind, lead to spikes around the United States. These are more likely to be more in states that have not been affected as much, the so-called Red states that are Republican dominated. I think that when and if these spikes occur matters will deteriorate in the U.S. But then, Trump will blame it all on the governors of states and the mayors of cities and towns. He will never admit failure or apologize.

Q: One of the foreign policy approaches of the Trump administration, which seems to be from Kissinger's, is to reinforce pressure on Beijing to contain China. Recently, Trump announced that he would pull companies out of Hong Kong if the Chinese government passed the Hong Kong National Security law. Trump, on the other hand, has stepped up operations in the South China Sea. What are the main reasons for tightening the screw on China?

“He (Trump) will do whatever he can, even if it means throwing the country into utter chaos and internal conflict.” 
A: Trump is searching for the one thing that will resonate with the U.S. electorate. He is trying to find the best scapegoats. China, governors, the Democratic Party, etc. Si with China, if he can make China look evil to the American people, then he could pile on to say that they are totally responsible for the Coronavirus. But to succeed, he has to paint China as evil and to be seen as tough in dealing with them. So what could follow is stepped up trade restrictions. Possibly sanctions. And yes, a limited skirmish on the high seas with the Chinese. Please understand that Trump only cares about Trump.

Q: If Joe Biden is elected the next president of the United States, will he change his approach toward China? Also, what would be his approach to Iran and the nuclear deal in general?

A: I think a Biden, or for that matter any Democratic President, would set about undoing Trump’s foreign policy errors. Yes, he would try to chart a new course with China. Tough but with a plan that is step by step to restore workable relations. Not a series of disjointed reactions to the moment in time. He would restore, or rejoin, the nuclear agreement with Iran. But now he would want an extension of the time that Iran could resume for nuclear research and have breakout capabilities. In this way, he would appear as tough but at the same time reduce tensions in the Persian Gulf and America’s military exposure around the world.

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