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Trump, Iran, and the Region! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Official international reactions varied regarding Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential elections, but they were all diplomatic except for Iran’s position that contradicted the initial statement of Damascus’ criminal Bashar al-Assad whose circles expressed optimism over the result of the polls.

China for instance, which was heavily criticized during Trump’s election campaign, had a wise and poised position without any escalatory or emotional reaction.

Russia, precisely President Vladimir Putin, rushed to welcome the president-elect. Putin expressed his country’s willingness to restore relations with Trump’s America. Russia then fell silent, attempting to reinstate communication channels with Trump’s circles without the fuss and the show, despite everything said about the president-elect’s will for improved ties with Moscow.

The case was totally different in Tehran. Chief of the General Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri scoffed at Trump when the President-elect said something that exceeds his powers and that of the U.S. following a threat he made to Iran during his campaign.

Bagheri warned Trump against testing Iran’s powers.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the result of the elections will not affect Iran’s policies, considering that Washington’s positions weakened internationally due to wrong strategies.

The reason for this escalation is Trump’s remarks that he will reconsider the nuclear deal. It seems that statements made by the spokesperson of the State Department further provoked Tehran. He said the nuclear deal is not binding and the President-elect can override it which is confusing given that the Obama administration allowed Iran to extend its criminal acts in the region and was enthusiastic about this agreement.

Meanwhile, Mark Toner, Deputy Spokesperson of State Department said: “Any party – and I’m speaking very hypothetically here, because I don’t want in any way to attempt to hypothesize about what the incoming administration’s going to do – I’m just talking purely about an agreement that any party can walk away from.”

Therefore, there was a disciplined official Arab congratulation to Trump, which is a good thing, an expected European caution, a Chinese poise, which was wise, and a Russian balance – given that the history between Moscow and Washington doesn’t leave much space for good faith.

We are also strangely faced by the optimism of the criminal Assad. Iran is unable to mask its concern and resorted to its usual language of threats and bullying. So how can Assad get along with Trump being elected?

Is Assad relying on the Russians? I think it’s a risk taken early. Some might say that Iran may open back channels to communicate with Trump’s circles. The truth is, we should be aware that Iran’s presidential elections are close which could wash away the soft face of Rouhani, and bring a figure who is worse than Ahmadinejad.

So, it is hard to assess the chances of reasoning between Iran and Trump’s America.

Well, how should our position be from this Iranian-Trump escalation with respect to Trump? We will continue tomorrow.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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