Iran’s internal politics are also to play a role in Iran-US relations under Biden. Trump’s unilateral approach that caused much economic hardships effectively delegitimized the Rouhani administration’s foreign policy approach of constructive engagement—and the moderate/reformist views on foreign policy in the Iranian political scene.
Results for Category: Nuclear Programs
In the background, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps captured the British tanker Stena Impero and its 23 crew members in the Gulf on 19 July, provoked by the UK detaining an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar to stop it taking oil to Syria, which some reports indicate followed pressure from the US. The EU has remained fairly silent on the matter, and Britain is contending with a possible no-deal Brexit under newly appointed prime minister Boris Johnson. While these issues remain separate from INSTEX, the mechanism’s application, membership, scope and survival could prove to be a diplomatic minefield in the current geopolitical environment.
Although Washington claimed the designation is aimed at confronting the IRGC’s destabilizing activities in the region, many in the US consider it as an unnecessary provocation. Given that the IRGC was already under a huge amount of pressure, including from sanctions, it is hard to see how the FTO designation will curb its regional influence and reach. In other words, the IRGC has successfully furthered Iran’s regional agenda and priorities, and it is expected to continue doing so under the new designation.
Saudi leaders have scaled back their planned purchases and now only expect to build two reactors. If the Trump administration continues to pursue nuclear exports to Riyadh, it should negotiate a nuclear cooperation agreement with the Kingdom as required by U.S. law, and also take extra steps to reduce nuclear proliferation risks.
President Rouhani, for instance, said that “the United States will never be able to cut Iran’s oil revenues,” and that “it has no meaning for Iranian oil not to be exported, while the region’s oil is exported.” More explicitly, he threatened to “stop [Iran’s] oil exports and see the results”, a threat praised by Qasem Soleimani in a rare public support of Rouhani by the IRGC commander. Later on, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Jafari said that Iran can make the enemy understand “what using the Strait of Hormuz for all or none means.”
500 members of the parliaments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom wrote a letter urging their counterparts in the US Congress to stick to JCPOA. Several hundred members of parliament of the three European signatory states, from all parts of the political spectrum, have decided to plead to the US congress to help keep this major diplomatic breakthrough alive. It is a pledge for transatlantic strength and a promise for further collaboration on the Iran issue and many other pressing challenges of international politics”.