There are only a few weeks left until US citizens will vote for a new president. In a country that’s currently facing ongoing riots and one of the highest death rates of Covid-19 worldwide, a new president will have more impact than ever. As one of the most powerful countries in the world, the US foreign policy has an impact on other countries as well. Including Iran, a country that has a turbulent history with the US. What will be the best result of the US elections for Iran?
Why are the US elections important for Iran?
Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, the international relations between the US and Iran are tensed. In the years, sanctions have been the main US intervention to deal with the Iranian anti-US policy. Under the Trump administration sanctions have been pushed to the extreme. Read more about Trump and Iran here: Is homeland getting real?, how could Iran get out of this crisis?, has the Iranian war already started?
Subsequently, Iran is facing huge economic and humanitarian downfall. Caused among others by the international sanctions. Also, western international trade and business with Iran are out of order. And Iranian citizens are still banned from the US.
So far, the interventions had a very limited impact on the Iranian regime. The political hardline against the US still continues stronger than ever.
The only thing that has shown to be successful is diplomacy. The Obama administration is one of the most striking examples of successful diplomacy. The nuclear deal of 2015 brought economical release for Iran and opened the gate for international trade and investment.
As it shows an administration with a focus on diplomacy and engagement will be more likely to have success on short terms. This will benefit Iranian citizens, political tension in the region and will be the first step to international trade and investment with Iran.
The two scenarios of November the 3rd:
- A second term for Trump. In this case, the hostile US policy towards Iran will continue. Trump’s pressure on Iran -including military attacks and economic restrictions- could be even increased, as the hardline part of the Iranian government will not resign. This scenario will have devastating effects on the Iranian economy and humanitarian life. The already high tensions between the nations will remain high. The hostility between the countries will continue or even worsen. Not to forget the international ban of Iranian citizens in the US will remain solid as it is.
- Victory for Biden. Biden, the former vice president of Obama is seen by many as a moderate politician. Biden mentions that there’s a need to change course with Iran. He’s highly aware that the violent policy of Trump has driven Iran closer to Russia and China and Iran is extending its power in the region with limited diplomacy. Biden wants a new nuclear commitment with Iran, back to diplomacy and undo the international ban created by Trump. Biden says he’s ready to go back to diplomacy with Iran if the country is willing to do so.
The most likely option for Iran economically, humanitarian and focussing on international opportunities will be the presidency of Biden. Still, even with a victory of Biden, there are obstacles on the road. The question is if Biden will get the support to go back to diplomacy with Iran of the new senate. Also, how will Biden’s strong Israel relations affect his foreign policy towards Iran?
And of course, it takes two to tango. Will the moderate part of the Iranian government regroup in time? Will they be able to start negotiations with the number one enemy of the hardliners again? And what will be the outcome of the Iranian elections in June 2021?
Besides these obstacles, a US administration led by Biden will be the first step in making Iran part of the international world again. Subsequently, it will be the only step possible in short terms for international trade and investment with Iran.