Code: 953962 A

The Political science professor at New Hampshire University Kurk Dorsey says that U.S president believes that the sanctions punish the Iranian government and leadership more than the Iranian people, and he is mad at the Iranian leadership for not doing what he wants.

Kurk Dorsey who is a member of the Master in Public Policy faculty and a Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire says to ILNA news agency in an exclusive interview that the deal between China and Iran will be better for Iran than for China because Iran will be able to sell its oil at a time of low demand. The author of three books, most recently “Whales and Nations” believes “has no ideology about foreign policy or even interest in the world.” Dorsey is the author of The Dawn of Conservation Diplomacy: U.S.-Canadian Wildlife Protection Treaties in the Progressive Era (1998) and Whales and Nations: Environmental Diplomacy on the High Seas (2013).

 

You can read the Full interview of associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire with ILNA news agency as follows:

Q: The deal between Beijing and Tehran extends into the "sectors of trade, economy, politics, culture, and security" and is reportedly worth $400 billion. Can this agreement help Iran reduce its economic problems?

A: In the short run, the deal between China and Iran will be better for Iran than for China, because Iran will be able to sell its oil at a time of low demand. In general, expanding trade with China will help the Iranian economy. But in the long run, it will probably hurt Iran more than help it. China has shown a pattern of helping other countries take on debt and then expecting some payment in return, as happened recently in Sri Lanka. None of China's neighbors trusts China because it has been ruthless in its diplomacy.

We should remember that China's treatment of its own Muslim citizens in Xinjiang has also been ruthless. Usually, the Chinese government makes decisions based on the long-term security of the state, not ideology. In this case, I believe that China sees an opportunity to tie Iran to it when Iran is most vulnerable.

 

Q: The decades of tension between Iran and the U.S. reached a peak in recent months. Is there a viable way out of the crisis in U.S.-Iran relations?

A: Both countries could reduce stress between Iran and the US by thinking carefully about how their actions provoke the other. Neither government wants to reduce stress, because each believes that it gains by having external enemies. In Iran's case, having the US as an enemy helps Iran's leaders justify their failures to fight coronavirus or build a more balanced economy. Likewise, Iranian leaders can use Israel as a scapegoat for anything that goes wrong in their society. For his part, Donald Trump plays on the US memory of hostages being taken by Iran in 1979 to keep Americans focused on why Iran is an enemy.  His allies are using his hard line against Iran in this election.

 

Q: Trump increases pressure on Iran with new sanctions but many believe the ordinary people are not immune; why Trump not taking steps to reduce sanctions despite global pressure?

A: There are three reasons: 1) Trump does not feel friendship for anyone really, much less foreign people.  2) He believes that the sanctions punish the Iranian government and leadership more than the Iranian people, and he is mad at the Iranian leadership for not doing what he wants.  3) Trump believes that his supporters really hated the deal that President Obama made with Iran, so he cannot make a deal with Iran unless it makes him look like the winner.

 

Q: Does Trump's foreign policy make sense?

A: Trump's foreign policy has been driven by two factors 1) doing the opposite of whatever Obama did and 2) worrying less about US values and worrying more about personal transactions with foreign leaders.  It is hard to make favorable deals with countries that have strong parliaments and a free press, so he drifts toward authoritarian states like, Turkey, China, and Russia--and even North Korea.  Each of those countries had difficult relations with the US under President Obama. Cuba and Iran, which also have authoritarian governments, made deals with Obama, so Trump dislikes them.

Other than that, Trump has no ideology about foreign policy or even interest in the world. His former aides who have spoken about him or written books make it clear that he is mainly concerned with how people think about him, not whether he gets any policy correct. For Donald Trump, a good policy is one that he can claim credit for, and a bad policy is one that someone else can claim credit for.

 

Q: Under such circumstances, can he win the November 2020 election?

A: I will put these two together. I do think that Joe Biden can win the presidency in November. At times, it seems as if Donald Trump is trying to lose the election. He talks so often about how it will not be a fair election that it appears that he is trying to prepare his supporters for a defeat that he can blame on anyone but himself.

Many people who supported Trump in 2016 did so because they did not like Hilary Clinton, but they do not hate Joe Biden. Some people voted for Trump because they thought that he would be more of a national leader once he became president, but they have been disappointed. With those two groups voting for Biden, there will also be an energized group of people who opposed Trump from the first day he campaigned for the office. At the same time, I do not see anyone who voted for Clinton in 2016 who would be more comfortable with Trump this time. Female voters are overwhelmingly opposed to Trump, as are Black voters and white men with college education.

But it is also three months until the election, and many things can change. My biggest fear is that Trump will lose a close election and dispute the results. Even if he is removed from office, his supporters will be very angry and claim that he was cheated out of re-election. It is very odd that the person in power says that the election is rigged against him!

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Donald Trump sanctions on Iran Kurk Dorsey Trump's foreign policy China-Iran deal U.S.-Iran relations November 2020 election
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