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Trump With or Against Us? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Hampton

Despite that U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump delivered the longest speech given by a nominee in the history of the Republican National Convention, he didn’t help us much in understanding what will his foreign policy be if he wins.

All what he said in his speech reverberated his previous statements, saying that he will cancel the nuclear agreement with Iran because he considers that the U.S. is the losing party in it, and that he will not provide protection to his allies, like Saudi Arabia, unless he receives something in return.
If we assume that these two points are truly in his agenda when he wins, then they are not necessarily bad.

I noticed many are happy with Trump’s stances, particularly by his threat to cancel the agreement with Iran.

They think that even if he can’t revoke it, he will at least not be enthusiastic in implementing it or in adopting a rapprochement policy with the regime in Tehran.

Does Trump really have a political orientation that is totally different than that of current President Barack Obama towards Iran and the rest of Middle Eastern affairs?

The truth is we don’t know Trump’s orientations, intentions and concerns in addition to those surrounding him.

I also don’t know if anyone knows anything about them. Trump came a long and exhausting way in the presidential race within the party, and he won the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency.
There are less than four months before finalizing the battle between him and his competitor, Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

We know a lot about Clinton; her orientations, opinions and those who work with her.

There’s a long record of political work, participation and statements that help us draw an image of how the next four years will be.

We do not expect her to be enthusiastic in regard of cooperating with Iran or in regard of the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, we do not expect her to obstruct it, and she may use it as a base to achieve a more expanded regional policy.

We expect Clinton to be less enthusiastic than George W. Bush but livelier than Barack Obama.

If Trump becomes president, he may align completely with Gulf States against Iran and restore the policy of curbing the Iranian regime on the regional level – a policy which existed before Obama came to power.

He may also enhance the power of his allies in the region.

However, he may do the complete opposite by being open to Iran and granting it more than Obama politically and commercially promised.

Lack of clarity in Trump’s policy is not deliberate ambiguity; instead, it is due to the fact that he has never practiced political work and has never participated in any activity that may indicate his political interests and orientations towards countries other than the United States.

Trump is a businessman who has built an investment empire and has dealt with many institutions, companies and businessmen from across the world, including the Arab world.

A friend who has worked with him once told me that Trump knows the region well and has many partnerships with Arabs, but he was never interested in political talk.

When he talks about trading American military power in exchange for supporting any ally, like Gulf countries, he doesn’t seem to understand that diplomatic ties, which have lasted for 70 years, were based on mutual interests rather than personal relations or charity work.

The U.S., as a superpower, has interests all over the world, and it gives as much as it gets.
This is an international relations custom, which is mostly based on mutual interests and some ideologies.

Despite racist remarks by Trump against Muslims, Mexicans and others, these statements have not made many in the Arab world angry or worried yet.

American elections have always got us used to political bidding.
What Trump says against extremist Muslims is being said out loud by Muslims themselves today.
The world needs cooperation in order to eliminate terrorism and target its presence and resources. This is a mutual interest.