"If Trump is reelected there might be a few problems but nothing critical, if he is not reelected there will be some policy changes," a political science professor says to ILNA in an exclusive interview.
Mike Hollingsworth political science professor at the University of South Alabama talked about the U.S Presidential election and the results of that election to the international community. The US professor believes that these would most likely include a different approach to international relations since the Biden administration would likely follow a different philosophical and theoretical approach to this. Hollingsworth refers to the future of JCPOA and says "This was a multilateral agreement which is not negated by the withdrawal of the United States."
Below is Hollingsworth's interview with ILNA news agency:
Q: As a first question, do you think that with Trump's re-election, Iran's nuclear deal will be completely destroyed?
A: There probably is not much of a future for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. First, it was not a treaty. There is a U.N. resolution for it, but since there was no formal mechanism for withdrawing from it, a country is free to do what it wants. The United States can back out of it, European countries can ignore calls for further sanctions, and Iran can do what they please with their nuclear program at any time. Countries can do what they want, but have to deal with the consequences.
Q: Did the United States have the right to activate snapback?
A: There is some question of whether Resolution 2231 gives the U.S. the right to do this. Generally, I would disagree with the argument that the U.S., which has unilaterally withdrawn from the agreement, has the legal authority to activate this. The argument is based on whether the U.S. is considered a participant, which I do not believe it is after effectively withdrawing in 2018. Whether the U.S. can pressure other countries into invoking sanctions is based more on political power rather than legal authority. There is some evidence that this might be a problem for Iran.
Q: As you know, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency has recently traveled to Iran; how do u analyze Rafael Grossi's trip to Iran?
A: I think this is a last-ditch attempt to salvage JCPOA. This is a multilateral agreement which means the other countries unless they withdraw, are supposed to follow the provisions. Europe, however, is worried and Grossi’s trip to Iran, which has been successful so far, is a way to convince European powers that it is worth resisting pressure to enact further sanctions. This is contingent on the cooperation of Iran and whether they intend to follow the agreement.
Q: But he had come to Iran at the invitation of Tehran and there was no pressure on Iran from other countries.
A: It might have been at the invitation of Tehran but it’s meant to relieve pressure on European governments who are under pressure to enact sanctions. If they do not have some assurance that Iran is complying or intends to comply with the JCPOA, then they would rationally pull out of the agreement and enact sanctions. They have inspected one site in question, and I’m not sure if they’ve made it to the second site yet. If they do this it will be a little while before the entire test results are in, but not that long. So far the trip has not had a great effect because Iran refuses to return to the conditions of the agreement until sanctions are lifted, and no one wants to lift sanctions until they return to the agreement. It’s kind of a standoff. Iran continues to violate the agreement by enriching uranium and stockpiling it. If conditions are not met, the arms embargo will likely continue and be strengthened. This trip does have the potential to alleviate some of the political pressure to enact sanctions on Iran, so overall I think it is a good thing. They seem to be making progress.
Q: The members of the nuclear deal did not fulfill their obligations. Didn't Iran have the right to reduce its obligations?
A: The Iranian government retains the right to do what it feels is in the best interests of the country. This is customary international law and principle of positivist theory. If the government believes violating the stipulations that it agreed to is the best course of action, Iran has effectively withdrawn from the agreement. The legal framework, which is not worth a whole lot, comes from a U.N. Security Council resolution. This was a multilateral agreement which is not negated by the withdrawal of the United States. So no, they didn’t have the right to break that agreement unless they no longer want to be a party to the agreement. Europe and the IAEA are attempting to hold on to the agreement without the support of the United States. This support from the United States could hinge on upcoming elections though. With a new administration, there might be a willingness to reenter the agreement and reduce sanctions on Iran.
Q: Is Donald Trump going to win the US election?
A: That’s a good question. Most of the polls in the United States show him behind regarding the election in November. It is important to remember, however, that the media generally has no idea how polls or statistics work and generally misinterprets everything even if they are not attempting to be biased. The election is not far off though. If Trump is reelected there might be a few problems but nothing critical, if he is not reelected there will be some policy changes. These would most likely include a different approach to international relations since the Biden administration would likely follow a different philosophical and theoretical approach to this. If you want to see things get really bad just wait until September the 21st when he starts trying to appoint a new Supreme Court justice.