The new U.S. president, Biden’s administration has stressed the policy of multilaterism and engagement with Europe. The three European countries are active in setting West’s approach towards Iran. In America’s political system, only the republicans are able to implement big agreements in the international politics. Establishing ties with China, ending the Vietnam war, ending the Cold war, collapse of the Berlin Wall, and unification of the two Germanys are clear examples of this theory. The Democrats are ”introverted” and the republicans are “extroverted.”Democrats are good at regulating the domestic economy and the republicans are masters of “spoiling”, and the foreign policy of Reagan, George W. Bush and Trump are living evidence to this theory. For this, Biden’s democratic administration is not expected to reach a successful agreement. Also the Agreement with Barack Obama is shrouded in a cloud of ambiguity. Resetting relations with the Republic Islamic of Iran is a great endeavor and the republicans are capable of doing it- whether through war or negotiations for peaceful coexistence. If Biden’s administration does not consider the republicans’ opinions in its foreign policy, the republications are going to obstruct his domestic policies.
It seems, Biden needs European support to convince the republicans in his foreign policy. European right-wing parties have influence over the American republicans, and it seems with regard to Biden’s weakness in engagement with the republicans, the Europeans are going to impose their foreign policy goals on the new administration. With knowledge of the new administration’s weakness against the republicans, the Europeans will exert maximum exploitation and try to navigate Biden administration’s foreign policy, of course behind an American mask. The theory that Europe will use America’s hard power to its benefit can be proved, as the Israeli regime acts by its clout over Congress.
From another standpoint and from Stephen Walt’s view, “ It can be discerned from Biden’s foreign policy lineup that he is following Trump’s policies or he is pacifist! Biden insists on continuing Trump’s foreign policy as a leverage for negotiations.” Again, from another perspective, it seems Europe and America are not serious about resetting the “agreement” with Rouhani’s administration, which has only three months to go before it expires, unless they want to take concessions. The UK has a long history of influencing Iranian presidential elections. The US system is based on “check & balance” and usually every two years the political orientation shifts and there is a possibility that in the 2022 elections for Congress, the republicans may gain majority in Senate, and for this reason, Biden’s administration needs to engage with the republicans in the next two years, otherwise, any agreement with Iran would be obstructed by the republicans.
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s present negotiating “framework” with 5+1 is not appropriate, because the “destruction trigger” through the UN Security Council against Iran is a constant threat. In the present “chaos” in the international relations, compliance with international laws and agreements has faded and reviewing previous treaties has been put on the agenda of America, China, Russia and Nato members and West’s request for changing the agreement with Iran is justified along these lines. Europe and America’s liberal democrat system is not receptive of opposing political systems and is busy disrupting non-western systems through adventures and challenges. In America and major European countries’ security strategy, the Islamic Republic of Iran, alongside countries like Russia and China, is considered a “threat and enemy”. Therefore, any effort to reach agreement is pointless, unless an agreement for “peaceful coexistence padded with care and caution.”
Proposing Courses of Action
If the ball is in Iran’s court, let us allow the next administration to shoot. Not rushing things is itself an opportunity for an atmosphere of peace and ground for financial opening and a no war no peace state of affairs domestically coupled with the elections rallies and tug of war is in the interest of Iran. It is necessary for us to promote “scientific, common sense and consensus” governance to draw the respect of the world community. It is fitting for Rouani’s administration, like that of president Khatami,
take necessary measures to equip the next administration with sufficient leverages and undermine the three European countries, Germany, France and the UK’s unity. This is a thing that Rouhani’s administration can facilitate for the 2021 administration: Ramp up pressure on Europe. Political observers believe that with Biden coming to the White House stressing engagement and cooperation with Europe, the European troika, party to negotiations with Iran, will be able to economically open up to Iran; but it must be determined why they do not do that now. To change the US behavior toward Iran, it seems pressuring France and the UK will work.
By Seyedvahid Karimi, March of 2021
(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)