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A leading authority on the Middle East Marvin Zonis believes that Trump believes that his pressure campaign is working. The recent demonstrations in Iran protesting the price of gasoline, he believes, was stimulated by his tightening the sanctions against the export of oil from Iran.

Speaking to ILNA news agency, the professor emeritus at the University of Chicago said "Of course the sanctions have hurt the average Iranian and in that sense are not fair since the problem for President Trump are the policies pursued by Iran’s leaders and not its people."

"In a country that is a full democracy, it can be argued, the people are responsible for the leaders and, therefore, sanctions that hurt the people are relatively more justified."

Answering to question about the future of US-Iran relations, he said that Iran may believe it, is in its best interests to wait until after the November 2020 elections in the U.S. in hopes that President Trump will not be reelected. (I personally believe he will not be reelected.)

"Anything that reflects cooperation between the two countries is a positive step and could gradually lead to more explicit and important forms of cooperation," Zonis added.

Asked about countries like Japan can mediate between Iran and the US or not, he stressed that It is important to remember that just when Japan Prime Minister Abe was trying to mediate between Iran and the U.S., a Japanese tanker was attacked so it indicates that there are powerful voices in Iran opposed to any Japanese mediation.

"In this case, I look to the Sultan of Oman or Japan to be an “honest broker” between Iran and the U.S. and possibly inducing the two countries to begin talking."

US Professor talk about Iran fourth step of reducing its commitment to the nuclear deal and added that President Trump is so swamped with the embarrassment of domestic impeachment that he will not likely take any new steps against Iran. The Europeans seem not to have been able to create a policy to get around U.S. sanctions.

Marvin Zonis suggested that the Iranian government solve the economic problems and said "As long as Iran’s oil revenues are diminished by the sanctions, Iran must work on increasing the efficiency of its domestic economy.

He also added that FATF is an organization founded in 1989 by the entire G7 whose president is a Chinese national and meant to prevent money laundering — that is corruption — and also terrorist financing. Some 39 countries have signed on and it would be important for Iran to sign on so it can become recognized as a state committed to global norms.


Marvin Zonis is a leading expert on the global political economy and political risk. He is professor emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is a leading authority on the Middle East and has spent the last 50 years studying Islam and the Middle East.


US sanctions impeachment FATF US-IRAN relations Japanese tanker Sultan of Oman Iran’s oil revenues
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