The upcoming American elections possible scenarios and future threats

While the Gaza crisis and Israels inhuman behavior in dealing with its residents cast a shadow over all international issues and became the biggest challenge facing the world community the type and nature of Americas relationship with the Israeli regime and the effect of its actions on the world level and different regions have also made the upcoming elections of the United States a key and important issue in ۲۰۲۴.
18 February 2024
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Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri

While the Gaza crisis and Israel's inhuman behavior in dealing with its residents cast a shadow over all international issues and became the biggest challenge facing the world community, the type and nature of America's relationship with the Israeli regime and the effect of its actions on the world level and different regions have also made the upcoming elections of the United States a key and important issue in 2024. Donald Trump's repeated victories in intra-party competitions and his repeated emphasis on the slogan: America first, lack of financial support for NATO and preventing immigrants from entering this country, along with the old age and numerous weaknesses of the current president of the United States during his various speeches and the state of his physical health have increased the uncertainty surrounding the results of the American elections. Of course, Nikki Haley, the other candidate of the Republican Party, still hopes to win the intra-party elections and achieve the position of president and has predicted that in 2024, a woman will be the president of the United States of America, that this person will be either she or Kamala Harris the current Vice President of the United States.

In such a situation, regardless of internal debates and competitions in America, it seems that the results of this election are of fundamental importance for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the region of West Asia and the Persian Gulf and can be one of the influential factors in the developments of the region. In this regard, several possible scenarios can be predicted. One scenario could be a re-win for Biden. Current predictions indicate that Biden will not withdraw from the presidential candidacy until Trump's condition is determined because if Trump is nominated, the chances of him being chosen for the Democrats' nomination are high. However, the possibility of realizing this scenario is small. Since 2021, Biden has lost popularity among the American community for reasons such as the economic consequences of the pandemic and the adverse reaction to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, and due to his old age and unconventional behavior, he has little chance of winning the next election again.

Another scenario could be the victory of younger candidates from the Democratic Party, such as his first Vice President, that is, Ms. Kamala Harris, or someone like Pete Buttigieg (Afghanistan war veteran, the youngest presidential candidate in the 2020 election, the current US Secretary of Transportation, and course the first openly gay member of the cabinet who received a vote of confidence from the Senate). Of course, due to the not-so-impressive performance of the first option as the first vice president and the relatively low popularity of the second option, their chances of winning the elections are not very high unless, in the months leading up to the election, these people make new trump cards that will change their position among American voters, or the Democratic Party introduces more effective and influential candidates. Of course, the concern of Trump winning again can become one of the factors of the Democrats' victory. The former US president is still deeply disliked in many parts of the country and among some demographic groups, so if Trump is chosen as his party's nominee, he may be highly motivated among voters in favor of Democrats to challenge for the presidency again.

Suppose any of these two scenarios come true and the candidates of the Democratic Party win. In that case, it can be predicted that almost all events and developments in the West Asian region will turn on the same approach as before and witness the continuation of the policy of bargaining and evasive negotiations with Iran and simultaneous containment and limitation of our country, all-round support for the Israeli regime, along with the continuation of critical approaches towards the right-wing leaders of this regime, and maintaining a friendly and critical relationship with the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf.

The third scenario could be the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election. The former president of the United States, who has been impeached twice, tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to the next president after losing the 2020 presidential election, and as a result, he is currently facing several criminal cases. Nevertheless, suppose Trump can survive the political and economic accusations in several US state courts and not be removed from the competition. In that case, he has a high chance of winning the US presidential election.

Trump makes good use of Americans' fears and concerns about ethnic and cultural mixing in America, home ownership problems, decent wages against inflation, and, of course, the opportunity to have a university education. And by speaking about these challenging issues, he has been able to win the opinion of many American voters, at least in the current polls. If he wins the election, the policy of maximum pressure on Iran and maximum support for the Israeli regime will be resumed. In addition to the fact that the development of the Abraham Accords and the reconciliation of the Arab countries with Israel without a fair settlement of the Palestinian issue is again prioritized in the plans of the American government, it is very likely that the reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which took place in February 2023, becomes an agreement on paper and the proxy wars and the level of tensions between Iran and its Arab neighbors will increase once again.

The fourth scenario is the victory of Nikki Haley (former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump era) in the next US presidential election. However, Haley's current low popularity among Republican voters weakens her chances of winning against Trump, and there is a high probability that she entered the election as a cover candidate. Finally, to get rid of Trump's rivals, she should make an alliance and cooperate with him, but her victory in the American presidential election as the first female president of this country can create changes in the approach of the American government. Although, if she wins, she will be subject to the general approaches of the Republican Party, it is likely that during her presidency, we will not see the Trump administration's greyhounds and stubborn nationalist policies. Nevertheless, if this scenario is realized, the all-round pressure on Iran, supporting Israel and the development of the Abraham Accords, and trying to drive distance between the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf and the Islamic Republic of Iran will increase, and we will see a relative rise in tensions in the region.

Finally, it should be said that although, at the current stage, it is not possible to speak with certainty about the results of the American elections and the realization of the above scenarios, the clear and definite point is that the results of this country's elections have a direct and clear effect on the security order in the region, the approach of the Arab countries in the region regarding Iran and the level of American pressure and sanctions on our country. As a result, the policymakers of our country, according to the experiences gained from the approaches of both the republican and democratic governments towards the Islamic Republic of Iran and the region at the current stage, should think of measures to neutralize the threats that the results of the upcoming American elections could have for Iran.

Iran's foreign policy solutions include deepening relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, actively participating in the resolution of regional crises, including determining the future of Palestine, preventing this issue from progressing without Iran's presence, and developing cooperation with neighboring countries.

Nevertheless, Iran's most important and effective solution should be focused on the domestic field and the development of social capital, improving economic conditions and creating hope among the people.

Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri, University Professor

(The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)


(The authors are responsible for the content and do not represent the views of the Institute for Political and International Studies)

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