After some nerve-racking days, Joe Biden will be the US next president. It’s an understatement to say that he inherits highly tensed relations nationally and internationally. Among others with longtime foe Iran. The relations with Iran went from bad to worse during Trump’s presidency. Diplomacy was translated into a maximum pressure policy and the nuclear agreement broken. International business Iran
During his campaign, Biden already mentioned he would take a different approach than Trump and go back to diplomacy with Iran when elected.
Without a doubt, going back to diplomacy will be the best option for both countries. Most important are the economic reasons. Diplomacy could result in the start of international business with Iran. Both countries will benefit from this. Here’s why.
Economic sanctions were the base of Trumps maximum pressure ‘diplomacy’. As a consequence, making trade and investment with Iran difficult for Western countries. While the sanctions didn’t change anything in the hardline of the government, they did change the quality of life of the Iranian people. Without doubt, Iranians pay literally the price for the US sanctions. The economy deteriorated and multiple products -including medicines- were hard to get.
Protest in favour of a better economic situation occurred frequently. There’s not always a direct link between the sanctions and the protests. But many people held the government responsible for their economic situation, caused partly by the international sanctions. Going back to diplomacy, releasing the sanctions would for sure benefit the Iranian economy. Improving the quality of life of Iranians and release some pressure of the government.
Another important reason for Iran is the effect of the pandemic. Iran had to deal with many covid-19 patients. Although medical care is Iran is on a high level, an international partnership could make the availability for medicines and a future vaccine easier.
A relieve of the sanctions by diplomacy could make the trade of healthcare products better.
Aside from Iran, Biden also inherits a tensed relation with China. China is the upcoming world player and ready to expand its power. The speculated partnership with China could become reality anytime soon. Iran could find a partner in China and both countries could benefit from investment relations. In fact, China could give Iran an alternative to Western domination. As a consequence, making the Islamic Republic less vulnerable to US sanctions and expand China’s power.
China will be a counterweight to the Western nations and an alternative for investment and trade. And also, important: China has no motivation to take a side in Middle Eastern conflicts. China’s growing influence and speculated partnership with Iran can be threatening for the US. Going back to diplomacy and starting trade and investments with Iran could limit the expansion of China.
Another important reason will be the chances the Iranian market will bring to Western countries. The young dynamic society is very well educated and eager to be part of the globalization. The country has many natural sources and brings opportunities for multinationals and smaller businesses. Ignoring the potential of Iran will be a loss for the US and other western countries.
Both sides have advantages in changing the current situation soon. Still, there are many bumps on the road to take. The Iranian government has an unchangeable hardline against the US. The four years of Trump could have left a scar on the relations that will be hard to fix. Also, the country will vote for a new president in 2021. A less progressive president could make diplomacy a challenge.
On the US side, Biden has strong relationships with long time Iranian enemy Israel. This could be a serious error in reshaping the US-Iran relation.
Still, the benefits could overshadow the bumps on the road, making the start for trade and investments between Iran and Western countries. Diplomacy and patience are needed in favour of both parties and in special the Iranian people.