Washington ineligible to return UN sanctions: American professor

August 24, 2020 - 20:46

TEHRAN – An American professor has said he is doubtful that Donald Trump would stop his “maximum pressure campaign” against Iran even if he is reelected in the November elections.

“I highly doubt Trump will give up on the maximum pressure campaign,” Karl Kaltenthaler, professor of political science and director of Security Studies at the University of Akron, told ILNA.

Professor Kaltenthaler said Trump and his allies are convinced that the pressure campaign is working and is bringing Iran to its knees.  

Also, he said, Trump will not loosen sanctions pressure on Iran even if it does irritate the U.S.’s European allies and others. 

“They are not an audience he seems to care a lot about,” Kaltenthaler pointed out.

On the U.S. attempt to return UN sanctions against Iran, he said, “The U.S. appears to be isolated on this issue because Trump pulled the country out of the JCPOA. It appears clear that other parties to the JCPOA believe the U.S. cannot leave the agreement and then dictate what happens under it.”

Clearly most other countries on the UN Security Council do not believe the U.S. has the right to invoke the snapback mechanism, Kaltenthaler stressed.

He said, “While there is a higher probability that the U.S. will come back to try to renegotiate the JCPOA with Iran if Biden wins, it is not a foregone conclusion that such negotiations will be successful.”

“But,” he added, “it is not clear how Iranian authorities will treat new negotiations. It was controversial among Iranian political authorities when it was first negotiated.  It clearly still is.” 

The professor said the future of U.S.-Iranian relations is unclear. 

Those relations depend on a lot of factors, but most importantly the domestic political situation in the U.S., he pointed out. 

“If Trump wins re-election, we can expect more of the same posture from the U.S. toward Iran.  If Biden wins the relationship can improve but it is not necessarily a given that a major improvement will occur.”

Asked about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, the professor said, “Trump is in a difficult re-election fight right now.  The COVID and economic crises are really hurting him politically in the United States. He has an uphill climb to win reelection. But I would not count him out. A great deal of the election outcome will depend on the turnout of voters. The candidate that can best turn out his voters has the edge.”

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