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Iran-US relationship in the 13th administration (Trend Analysis)

 Zahra Sharifzadeh
Member of The Editorial Board of the Iranian Journal of International Relations

One of the most important issues that presidential candidates must have a plan for, is the field of foreign policy and interaction with the world. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Sanctions, regional issues and how to deal with neighbors are among the most important issues to consider.
The future president of Iran, whether from the fundamentalist spectrum, whether reformist or from any other group or party, will be one of the most significant challenges in managing economic pressures and sanctions that have affected various aspects of people's lives and livelihoods. In other words, the field of foreign policy can be considered the most important scene of the future president of Iran. On one hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America have their own interests due to political and economic necessity and building power at the regional and global levels, which have caused these two actors to enter regional and global developments.

 On the other hand, the historical and ideological conflict between them has been considered as any provocation by each of them in order to gain and increase benefits that threaten the other side. Due to its role in the region, Iran has caused the United States to face a major challenge in the region's political-security system. Now that the 1400 elections are ahead, the question is what will be the relationship between the two countries in the new government? Answer the question based on trend analysis this hypothesis will be examined that Ideological conflict between Iran and the United States, the position of Israel and the American Israel public affairs committee (AIPAC) active in America, In adopting hostile US policies against Iran and finally, the influence of the countries of the Persian Gulf, at the top of that Saudi Arabia US foreign policy in the Middle East will not allow the improvement of relations between Iran and the United States in the 13h administration.

 Due to the growing importance of the future, there are two approaches to future study, including the exploratory approach and the normative approach. The method of exploratory approach is based on the traditional view of studying current trends and its extension to the future. While the method of normative approach is generally based on collective thinking and shaping the future based on the views of the beneficiaries group. Impact analysis method is a process based on a normative approach that examines the impact of different events on the continuation of the process. It should be noted that the future is the result of the action of the following four factors:
Trends: Trends, or "regular changes in data or phenomena over time," emphasize historical and temporal continuity and begin in the past and continue to the future.
Events: Contrary to trends, events that are the result of an event emphasize historical disintegration and strongly influence trends and the future.
Images: perceptions and desires of different individuals and groups of the future
Actions: What emerges based on images of different actors from the future.

Trends, events, perceptions and actions of Iran and the United States
Iran-US relations during the Islamic Republic are rooted in how the United States behaved in the years following World War II with Iran. In the mental image of Iranians the United States has a pattern of unstable and changing action in dealing with Iranian moderate groups. While Truman supports the nationalization of the oil industry in Iran, Eisenhower organized a military coup against Mossadegh's government in 1953. Such a process has always existed in the minds of Iranian who took the first steps in the revolutionary struggle against US policy in the regional and international environment. Of course, it is necessary to mention that Graham Fuller says; Iranian society sees the United States as a "symbol of imperialist repression" that In the years after World War II as an alternative to the colonial and aggressive policies of Russia and Britain. An overview of the set of US actions against Iran over the past four decades is:
- Coup against Iran, a limited military strike (Tabas), Imposition of political, economic and military sanctions, efforts to isolate Iran, Approaching Saddam and the war with Iran, inciting Iran's neighbors, Military attack on Iran's military fleet and passenger plane, Threatening Iran for world peace and security, covert diplomacy to get closer to Iran (Iran Contra affair), Calling Iran as a sponsor of terrorism, Implementing a policy of containment and Simultaneous confrontation with Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cultural aggression and soft war against the Iranian nation. Responsibility in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)and intensification of oppressive sanctions and withdrawal from JCPOA. All that was said during the four decades after the Islamic Revolution of Iran It shows the general principles of US foreign policy towards Iran have always been stable and only the methods and the way of dealing with it have changed.
- US policy uses coercive diplomacy mechanism to limit Iran's power to force Iran to be flexible and under increasing pressure Iran has used various mechanisms in the past historical periods to normalize its relations with the international system. Iran's latest diplomatic process was nuclear diplomacy, which led to the Joint comprehensive plan of action. The United States, which has a unilateral approach to world politics, has evaded its commitments and put more economic pressure on Iran. Iran has demanded the return of the United States to the P5 + 1 about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the United States has refused to fulfill its obligations. Such an atmosphere has led to Increasing Iran’s pessimism about US policies and even the reduction of Iran's nuclear obligations was able to provoke an effective response to US policies. The United States has imposed economic pressures and the EU countries, through their strong political reaction to Iran, tried to prevent the effectiveness of Iran's policy to achieve new achievements.
- Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s experience taught Iranian rulers that against aggressive action mechanisms should be used Reciprocal action. Iran's pattern of behavior so far reflects signs of effective defense policy. In the last 40 years and after the revolution, the issue of power and the role of Iran's regions has completely changed, and for this reason, different US presidents, from Obama to Trump and even Biden, do not have different functions to achieve their goals. And they believe that Iran is the most important security threat to the United States, its partners, its interests and its national security. During this historic period, Iran's foreign policy and diplomatic team sought to use "constructive cooperation" mechanisms to resolve the nuclear dispute between Iran and the Western world. In the process, it took advantage of the appeasement model, which created new challenges for the Iranian government. The most important signs of the appeasement challenge can be the US withdrawal from the JCPOA Security and Europe's inattention to the US commitments and other countries of the P5 + 1 group against Iran.
- Iranian politics is a sign of cooperation and trust, in case of aggressive actions, the great powers will be able to defend their existence and structural capability. Today, Iran has the will to retaliate against US actions. The United States has also shown that it is vulnerable in Afghanistan and Iraq and cannot achieve the necessary victory.
- US military formation in May 2019 and deployment of air war squadrons, sending US military ships and missile units to US Central Command military and operational missions, confronted the regional environment with inflammation and ambiguity. In the current context, Iran's strategic structure is based on the recommendations of the Resistance and Threat against Threats, takes balanced action against the United States. The fact is that the United States cannot achieve the desired results in an atmosphere of crisis escalation. That is why it continues to pursue a policy of sanctions.
- In Wallenstein’s view, trans-colonialism is the central axis of economic control and politics of the world system. The world system approach emphasizes that there is an organic relationship between the economy, politics, security and industrial status of countries in the world system. Neocolonialism in software formats has a perceptual, static and analytical nature. Countries like the United States have the capabilities of the media, the production of thought, and the organization of social forces to achieve their strategic goals. That is why stances play an important role in shaping the political and security power of countries like the United States. American political stances in the process of interventionism are organized in such a way that the necessary infrastructure to play the role of interventionism is inevitable. A significant portion of American interventionism is based on the infrastructure of perseverance and perception management. Destabilization is one of the mechanisms of neocolonialism behavior in the Middle East.
Expressing the trends and events that have taken place and the reaction of Iran and the United States to each other, it should be said that there are positive and negative drivers in this regard, which are:
One of the drivers that could have a positive impact on Iran-US relations is that all those who have been appointed to the Biden administration and who are have a connection to US foreign policy and the JCPOA and the issues related to Iran are people who in the past supported negotiations and the lifting of sanctions and had an interactive view with Iran and did not belong to the militant group. Of course, it is important which faction wins the 1400 presidential election. Other drivers are regional developments and actors. Actors like Saudi Arabia and Israel who are like before do their best to throw stones about this, Expressed their concerns, sent messages, lobbied and they have brought with them new allies such as Europe and France. This factor will have a negative impact on Iran-US relations.
Other drivers will naturally be the result of the 1400 presidential competition which person to become president, a fundamentalist or a reformist and etc. Because the role of the individual according to the slogans and programs can be effective in the direction of Iran's foreign policy. It is likely that in the 1400 elections Supporters of reformists will not go to the ballot box. On the other hand, because the fundamentalists will control the government and the parliament, we will not see the problem that we saw in the previous JCPOA, because in the previous JCPOA, the Conservative Assembly took every action to prevent JCPOA from succeeding, but in JCPOA 1400 fundamentalists can be more successful than the previous JCPOA. Ali Motahari has said that the fundamentalists, now that they have come to power, and especially if they take over the government, with the experience that their leaders have gained, They understand that the way to save the country is to reform foreign policy, Reviving JCPOA, and resolving the FATF problem and if necessary, establishing a relationship with the United States. But a relationship with the United States is an impossible possibility in their foreign policy. Although, the extremists are now doing their best to prevent any improvement in relations between Iran and the United States, and so far they have been very successful in this regard. But how these people behave after the presidential election is another matter, and naturally Iran's internal developments are a neutral variable and we have to wait and see where it will move.
As we know, for 16 years in the Rafsanjani and Khatami administrations, Iran pursued a pragmatic, peaceful policy based on detente and peaceful coexistence. And the emphasis on detente, peace, democracy, and the dialogue of civilizations resonated in political and international circles.
But in the Ahmadinejad period, given the growing US discourse and behavioral threats against Iran, Slogans and programs, including Iran's name in the list of demonic countries, accusing Iran of trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction, The beginning of the Iranian nuclear crisis in 2003 and Also, the increase in regional threats caused by the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and the presence of the US and British navies in the Persian Gulf and the formation of Persian Gulf and Middle East alliances caused Ahmadinejad's attitude towards the US and its relations with this country to be negative.
On the other hand, the most important indicator of the Rouhani’s government discourse is moderation in foreign policy, balance between the two basic elements of realism and idealism. Indeed, the rise of international sanctions on the rival discourse of fundamentalism with changing guidelines, considered the 2013 presidential election as a good opportunity to marginalize the fundamentalist discourse. In this regard, the Rouhani’s government, while considering the two elements of threat elimination and profit as characteristics of good foreign policy, which is the same as developmental foreign policy, described ideological concerns as "obstacles" to the adoption of such foreign policy. Rouhani, while interpreting moderation as realistic idealism, considers the discourse of moderation in foreign policy not as surrender, conflict and confrontation, but as an effective and constructive interaction with the world. Accordingly, the main priority of the Rouhani government is relations with countries that are of strategic importance That is, the United States and European countries. This can be clearly seen in this Rouhani’s interpretation: Americans are the chief, it is easier to close with chief. Efforts to establish relations with the United States and a new round of cooperation between Iran and the European Union are examples of the situation in the Rouhani administration's foreign policy.
In the Rouhani’s administration, however, the relationship with the United States is a complex and difficult issue and says there is an old wound that needs to be healed. But emphasized that any talks with the United States should be based on mutual interests and mutual respect. But the United States must make it clear that it will never interfere in Iran's internal affairs. Secondly, to recognize all of Iran's fraudulent rights, such as nuclear weapons, and to abandon unilateral and coercive policies toward Iran. In this situation, the situation will be different, but everyone should know that the future government will never be deprived of the rights of the Iranian people. We are ready to reduce tensions.
Based on the trends and events mentioned and the actions of the two countries against each other according to the author, having a principled and ideological view on the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran on any issue, it will cause some problems in Iran and the United States relationship. And on the other hand, the problem that has not been solved till now and the Americans are not willing to solve it easily, is that they have not yet accepted the Islamic Revolution and have not accepted Iran as an independent state.
Another factor was the Islamism of the Islamic system was defined by its opposition to Israel and the United States. The leaders of the Islamic Revolution claimed that Zionism, along with imperialism, was conspiring against Islam. the Islam which manifestation was the Islamic Republic of Iran. Finally, the influence of the Persian Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, on US foreign policy in the Middle East will not be possible to improve relations between Iran and the United States in the 13th administration. And what should be noted in addition to the above hypothesis is that the nature of the United States is colonial and has no interest in the progress of Iran and in case of any connection will somehow colonize Iran.


Editorial Board of Iranian Journal of International Relations

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