- A California-based political analyst denounced US President-elect Donald Trump’s possible move to sabotage the July 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as “a fanatical desire
“This was an agreement between Tehran and Washington plus five other superpowers. So Mr. Trump, you know, by expressing such a fanatical desire to want to back out of this deal, would be (acting) in violation of international law,” Alexander Azadgan said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
Alexander Azadgan is a multi-awarded professor of Strategic Global Management & International Political Economy. Azadgan is also a senior fellow with several cutting-edge Iranian think-tanks as well as a regular contributor with Russia’s Katehon think-tank.
The second part of the interview is as follows:
Tasnim: In a speech to the pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), US President-elect Donald Trump declared that his "number-one priority” would be to "dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran." CIA Director John Brennan said last month that it would be “the height of folly” for Trump to sabotage the nuclear deal. "I think it would be disastrous. It really would," Brennan said in an interview with the BBC published on its website on November 30. What do you think about the remarks? How do you see the future of the nuclear deal?
Azadgan: I find this question to be very ironic. Because it is very ironic for me to agree with such a clandestine organization as CIA which has had a very corrosive role since its very inception up to now. But I found it very ironic to agree with Director Brennan clearly this reckless behavior, even rhetoric. Nothing has been implemented yet but even a rhetoric level that Mr. Trump has exhibited is very dangerous. We had the global community certainly P5+1 and Iran reached a relatively decent deal. Under the circumstances, that was basically the best deal that could have been reached in order to avoid confrontation, in order to avoid the possible Israeli attack against Iran, which Iran would have retaliated very fiercely.
Nevertheless, if what Mr. Trump has been saying in rhetoric and many people stated that this was for domestic consumption, now we are seeing the type of individuals these very warmongering pro-Zionist individuals, especially the generals that Mr. Trump has nominated into very important positions of power, making such reckless comments. So basically it makes the future. the second part of this question was that how do you see the future of the nuclear deal? It certainly paints a very negative picture a gloomy cloud that Mr. Trump is invigorating and promoting. I certainly hope I am wrong. I hope when Mr. Trump actually gets into office and feels the full weight of the responsibility that any US president feels that, his approach would become a little bit milder and actually saner because it is purely insane, what he's talking about. However, we look at the people that he wants to put in power in his cabinet. These are people that make President Bush look like a moderate, President Bush and his entire administration. But, you know, clearly once again we're seeing all the signals of the corrosive Israeli lobby totally practicing their power and we are seeing another president.
We basically had eight years of somewhat of relief in a sense that President Obama, compared to his predecessors, stood up to the Israelis and especially the personage of a war criminal such as Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel. Mr. Obama to some extent stood up to him and the fact that he did promote the JCPOA was relatively a good sign when it comes to global peace and security but now we are seeing a total shifter, a total new development in a sense that the US is seeing the coming into power of extremely reckless and uneducated and amateur people with no diplomatic experience being put into power and possibly wrecking this nuclear agreement that was reached between Iran and P5+1.
Now, under international law it would be illegal, absolutely illegal, for US to act unilaterally. After all, this was not just an agreement between Tehran and Washington. This was an agreement between Tehran and Washington plus five other superpowers. So Mr. Trump, you know, by expressing such a fanatical desire to want to back out of this deal, would be (acting) in violation of international law. However, if we observe Washington's behavior in the past 15 years since those despicable events in New York in September of 2001, we realize that, you know, this is an apparatus. We have an apparatus in Washington consistently during the past 15 years even during President Obama's administration that has violated all sorts of international law, including attacking two defenseless nations, Afghanistan and Iraq, without having any UN mandate in doing so and that included Libya years later under the disguise of NATO another totally illegal war up to and including the current mess that they have created in Syria.
So we are seeing pure shamelessness of Washington in breaking all sources of international law. So we really shouldn't be surprised if they are going to renege out of their commitments in JCPOA towards Iran. This is not a surprise to me. In this case, it is extremely dangerous because we are seeing the Israelis once again having the upper hand in this whole process and Riyadh as well. Let us not forget, you know, Saudi Arabia and the corrosive role that it always played during the (Iran nuclear) negotiations. They outwardly expressed as it was leaked in WikiLeaks that under the last King Abdullah that they were clearly Iranophobic and that they even refer to Iran as the snake and the head of the snake should be cut. That is kind of undiplomatic and vile language, not to mention the corrosive roles that the Saudis have played in the Syrian internal affairs, in this horrible war that has been going since 2011. So five or six years now, so basically in order to answer this question very directly, we are seeing the total and utter practice of power by the corrosive Israeli lobby in Washington in dictating what exactly needs to be done. The Israelis, the Israeli lobby AIPAC and the personage of the war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu, they made it very clear after JCPOA was passed in July of 2015, they clearly expressed their unhappiness toward that deal and now, if God forbid this thing goes through and Washington reneges on his promise, you are going to go back to 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2000 conditions where the possibility of an imposed war on Iran was very real.
So we will have to see what happens with that. It is possible that again we have to entertain the possibility that Mr. Trump is just being, you know, a showman obviously not one that is entertaining to anybody who has basic levels of sanity in the world. Maybe he's just being a showman and is just using rhetoric. Certainly, if within the US intelligence apparatus, especially CIA, especially Director Brennan, if they make such adamant expression of their opposition to Trump’s potential behavior, then there could be some hope and this is very ironic to actually have to look to CIA for some hope, for some sanity, is that there is a clear disagreement within Washington especially within the intelligence community that there's a possibility that this may not go through if Mr. Trump oversteps his boundary.
Tasnim: Since the JCPOA is a multilateral agreement and not a bilateral one between Tehran and Washington and given the fact that Tehran has remained fully committed to its obligations under the deal, what can other parties to the JCPOA, namely Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, do to prevent the US from sabotaging the agreement?
Azadgan: This is an extremely complex question and a very important question. Yes, it is very correct that this agreement was a multilateral agreement. Washington cannot single-handedly sabotage it. They could renege on it, they could violate international law and back out of it, as Mr. Trump has been suggesting. Every time he says he is renegotiating something, which in and out of itself by the way is illegal because you cannot renegotiate an agreement that already has become international law. That, by itself, shows Mr. Trump's pure amateurism when it comes to this matter. But what can other nations do? Not much I'm afraid to say. As long as we have this now fully dysfunctional petrodollar system where Washington is at the helm of the global economy unfortunately not much can be done. Now, Russia and China have clearly been Iran's allies throughout this whole process or procedure and on the other hand we have these two nations of Britain and France who have been playing a very corrosive role in the Middle East and their ships always sail in the same direction as Washington.
So we cannot really count much on them and then we have Germany which is more or less moderate especially under the direction of Chancellor Angela Merkel so another development that we have seen both in France and Britain is the coming into power of the right wing. In England, we have a prime minister Theresa May who has expressed very strong pro-Israeli inclinations. In France, there is a possibility next year of the coming into power of François Fillon, who so far at least when it comes to Russia has been a voice of sanity but we do not know how he is going to behave when it comes to the Iran dossier. So we are seeing this development, this global development of coming into power of the right wing here in the United States and obviously, so far in Britain and quite possibly next year in France and you're forecasting that in Germany madam Merkel with remaining power at least that seems to be the consensus. So, it's not so much as what they can do, it's more of what the Iranian diplomacy especially under the leadership of Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif how persuasive could he be to his European colleagues in persuading them especially economically because as you're aware, Europe hasn't exactly been doing well since the 2008 Great Recession and so they are very close to Iran and as far as trade goes, they are focusing their attention in getting these multi-billion dollar contracts with Iran especially in the case of Airbus for example a deal that again Washington sabotage through its corrosive influence over Boeing not being allowed to sell a very sensitive part of these Airbus super jets, jumbo jets, to Iran which up to now, we have to see what happens with that but the Europeans have their eyes very much focused on capturing the Iranian market but we have seen over and over again during the past year and a half since the signing of the JCPOA is this impotence on behalf of our European colleagues to actually go full-on with what they signed into.
On Washington's corrosive role in sabotaging these deals, so they are very much interested in the business with Iran but they're very cautious and even petrified as far as possibly breaking some kind of a standard that Washington is trying to impose on the rest of the role especially toward those three particular countries in Europe, France, Britain and Germany who are part of the P5+1. So we'll have to see the skillfulness of the Iranian diplomacy in trying to persuade Europe to somehow put up a front, somehow try to confront Washington and that, you know, these policies that Trump wants to pursue are counterproductive even to the US interest. It is to the US economic and business interest for American companies to once again do business with Iran. Iran is a prime market of close to 80 million citizens. There is a fondness toward American products and businesses and this sabotaging, this hijacking of the US foreign policy especially by Israel is very counterproductive to the American interest. So unfortunately, this new administration, Trump administration coming into power from what we have seen, seems to be very much under the thumb of the Zionists and so we are forecasting some difficult years ahead of us unless there would be a cool within this new administration for some voices of sanity. We are hoping that the Europeans would find some voice within them. There's some hope, believe it or not, with the right (wing) coming into power quite possibly in France that at least they have shown a reconciliatory approach with Russia.
We are hoping that Iran would be a beneficiary of that, especially when it comes to the Syrian dossier and that somehow that sanity that is missing in America at least would be present in our European colleagues and that the cooler would prevail and that they would realize this would be a lose-lose situation, if the Europeans follow the US example or if they do not follow the US example in reneging on their promise, at least they would continue to be controlled and be petrified and be too cautious in exerting their power in pursuing their own economic and political foreign policy of Tehran.
So there is some hope we'll just have to see what happens in April of next year especially in France, who gets elected into power in France and we'll have to see and continue monitoring the new Trump administration's behavior in the months to come and see if there is any change of at least some sanity that coming into the equation. We did have some very important and effective comments by soon to be former Vice President Joe Biden few weeks ago. He stated something to the fact that if Mr. Trump overstepped his boundary that the Democratic Party would order elders within the Democratic Party now that minority opposition in both the House and the Senate that they would actually react very forcefully and so we'll have to see certainly the JCPOA was one of the flagship achievements of the Obama administration let's hope that those voices of sanity and reason and level-headed decision-making within the Democratic Party's apparatus would somehow put a halt into these very radical and fanatical policies that President-elect Trump is suggesting.