“Iranians don’t trust the United States to implement the agreement”

After the elections in Iran a piece notes Iranian moderates mistrust of America, “In the aftermath of the nuclear agreement, the debates in the United States and Iran have become a mirror image of each other. As some officials in Washington worry that the Iranian government will use the deal to secretly develop nuclear weapons, in Tehran, Americans are the nefarious party – intent on slapping sanctions back on Iran at the first opportunity”.

The report mentions that “Although Iranians generally remain wary of the deal, outright opposition remains a minority view. The Iranian hardliners who opposed the nuclear deal lost decisively in parliamentary elections last Friday. Reformists, centrists, and independent conservatives won all 30 parliamentary seats in Tehran, and several hardline opponents of the deal also lost their seats in the Assembly of Experts, which is tasked with selecting the next supreme leader if 76-year-old Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dies or resigns”.

The piece goes on, “Some hardliners are warily watching the U.S. presidential election play out, and are making the case that a new administration in Washington could reimpose sanctions. Hardliners “are waiting for the U.S. elections so that if a Republican with a harsh view comes to power, they could also talk tough,” Khadir said. Most Iranians are concerned about who will come to power in the United States next year, according to Izadi. A phone poll conducted by the University of Maryland showed 62 percent of Iranians don’t trust the United States to implement the agreement. Iranian fears that the U.S. government will renege on the deal, Izadi says, are rooted in the fact that political support for the agreement in the United States is tenuous. He points out that while Iran’s parliament favoured the agreement, a majority of the U.S. Senate opposed it. Obama was able to implement the accord because the Senate failed to muster the two-thirds vote needed to override a presidential veto“.

Yet while this is true, the deal does not have GOP support, the view is also problematic as it assumes what is said on the campaign trail will be turned into policy. Just look at Obama. Secondly, whoever is elected in November will be bound be the previous administration, unless its Trump, so the Iranians have far less to far then they think.

The piece goes on to report, “Popular opinion in both countries reflects the same disparity. The University of Maryland poll showed 72 percent of Iranians support the agreement. A Gallup poll released in February showed only 30 percent of Americans favour the deal, with 57 percent opposed. Yet Iranian analysts express cautious optimism that both sides will continue to implement the agreement. For Iran, the nuclear deal has eliminated the most damaging sanctions and allowed it to concentrate on improving its battered economy. For the United States, it eliminated the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons and generally lowered tensions with the country”.

The piece concludes “the electoral defeat of hardliners has opened a wider discussion in Iran about the merits of nuclear power. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continually expanded Iran’s enrichment facilities, making development of nuclear power an issue of national pride. As a right-wing populist, Ahmadinejad used the nuclear issue to stoke Iranian nationalism and call for self-reliance. That idea has been discredited in the eyes of many reformists. Farzad Yazdoneh, a 25-year-old student, said he supports President Hassan Rouhani’s policies and would like to see an end to nuclear power, which is both expensive and unsafe”.

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