By Mohammad Mazhari

World has lost confidence in U.S. to live up to its international commitments: Lebanese academic

July 14, 2020 - 9:21

TEHRAN- The world has lost confidence in the U.S. to live up to its international commitments, especially after Donald Trump decided to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, says dean of the Faculty of Law, Political, and Administrative Sciences at Lebanese University.

Camille Habib believes that Trump is afraid of Iran’s increasing influence in West Asia and that is why he tries to prevent Tehran from developing its nuclear program and gaining more allies on the international scene.

“Trump is concerned that Iran would, through its nuclear program, gain more allies on the international scene,” the Lebanese academic tells the Tehran Times. 

“What happened when Trump decided to withdraw from the nuclear deal is that the world has lost the confidence of the U.S. to live up to its international commitments,” he adds.

Following is the text of the interview:

Question: How do you assess Trump’s decision in quitting the 2015 nuclear deal?

Answer: The Trump administration announced its withdrawal from the deal on 8 May 2018. Such a decision was taken for merely a political reason. 

Iran had announced many times that its nuclear program would be used for peaceful means. I do not think that Washington is concerned about the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Trump is concerned that Iran would, through its nuclear program, gain more allies on the international scene. 

Most of those allies, Arabs, and non-Arabs are developing countries and hence, look at Iran to foster up their developing programs in all fields; agricultural, industrial, and electrical.

Trump is a businessman, and he perceives international relations as a fiasco that can bring him more money, and nothing else. Furthermore, Trump is a production of the “deeply conservative state” that is controlled by lobbies, including the Zionist lobby.

Hence, any kind of betting on Trump to come back to the negotiation table before the upcoming American presidential election remains sheer wishful thinking. Thus, it is important for Tehran to conduct a wait and see approach before answering to Trump’s demands.

The nuclear deal has become international law, and any modification of it will take a long time to be enacted. In the meantime, Trump is awaiting Iran to surrender; he would be disappointed.

Q:  Some experts have said that the nuclear deal was born dead. What is your comment?

A: The agreement was a successful one due to the fact that Iran and 5+1, together with the European Union, signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This means that the so-called Iran nuclear deal is now an international law by the power of those who signed it on 14 July 2015.

The agreement was reached because all parties to it had made some concessions, and all emerged satisfied with the provisions of the deal.
For Iran, the deal was a good one because, in return for its consent, Tehran would benefit from freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues and frozen assets.

Q: Is there any guarantee for the enactment of international agreements? Is it possible to prosecute a country for violating international treaties?

A: Unfortunately, there is no mechanism in international law to punish any state for violating international law. The only means to do so is to bring the issue of America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran to the Security Council.

However, the United States has a veto power that can bring the discussion to a halt. 

Furthermore, take, for example, the issue of human rights; most states are pledged to promote human rights in the future but are not committed to do it so promptly.

Sadly speaking, we are living in a world of might and not right.

It is essential for all peace-loving nations, like Iran, to depend on their economic and technological power to defend themselves against all the odds. It is true that the right to struggle is the right to progress.

Q: Do you think Europe could have prevented the U.S. from withdrawing from the nuclear deal?

A: Europe has neither the power nor the means to prevent Washington from withdrawing from the nuclear deal. Europe today lacks the necessary leadership that has the guts to exert pressure on the Trump administration to re-joint the nuclear deal.

Moreover, Europeans are witnessing of how Trump deals with the international crisis. His idiosyncrasies and perception of world politics do not allow him to give-in on anything.

Trump is someone who is still living in a unipolar system when the U.S. was the only superpower on the international scene. He does not believe and does not want to believe that the globe has been changing drastically since 2008, when the U.S., due to its economy, had retreated from many of its commitments worldwide.

Finally, Trump can no longer usurp the role of the United Nations. Thank the emergence of Russia and China as great powers and their willingness to exercise their roles in compliance with international law and with their unequivocal support of the right of the people for self- determination. 

On the other hand, Trump defines America’s interest, not in terms of its ability to work with others in the international community (i.e., Europe), but in terms of Washington’s ability to achieve or maintain dominance over others.

Q: Don’t you think that U.S. violation of the nuclear deal and Europeans’ silence would lead to collapse of international agreements?

A: Not necessarily. Treaties between states can be made with or without American sponsorship.

When Trump decided to withdraw from the nuclear deal, the world has lost the confidence of the U.S. to live up to its international commitments. Even the World Health Organization is suffering from Trump’s temperament. Trump had imposed sanctions on Iran, China, Russia, and most recently Lebanon and Syria in order to help the Zionist entity annex more Palestinian land and eventually destroy the Palestinian cause under The Caesar Act.

International relations are indeed defined in terms of power, but Trump a long time ago has forgotten that the responsibilities of any great power are to maintain international peace and security in accordance with international law. 

At any rate, Iran, Syria, and international resistance in Lebanon and Palestine are ready to face all kinds of challenges.  

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