Speculation is rising, in the media and among think tanks, regarding the possible impact of the American presidential election, on future American policy towards Iran. In the overview of the candidate positions, ballotpedia summarizes “Hillary Clinton supports the Iran nuclear deal, taking a ‘distrust and verify’ approach”, whereas “Donald Trump opposes the deal saying he would re-negotiate or dismantle it”.
Perhaps these reflections of past statements led to the most poignant piece in this regard, the Reuters article titled frustrated Europe hopes Clinton win can spur elusive Iran deals. The article gives voice to so called European businesspeople, or more precise “European interested parties”, who hope that a Democratic win will remove “political clouds”, enabling them to pocket more profits. As if “political clouds” are the problem.
It would seem that this above described “split” between the two candidates on the Iranian issue, is quite superficial. It may reflect past statements by the two candidates, but ignores further developments.
Both candidates have observed that the nuclear deal has not moderated Iran as promised (see the paper by politico entitled “moderate Iran is a fantasy“), have noticed Iran’s humiliation of the American sailors, have witnessed Iran’s proxy missile attacks on the US warship, have most probably internalized the call “Iran acts of war cannot go ignored“, and have definitely noted the House support for a renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act . They have definitely noted the FATF public statement from October declaring that Iran will remain a concern due to deficiencies identified in the Action Plan, terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system. The FATF urged Iran “to fully address its AML/CFT deficiencies, in particular those related to terrorist financing”. We haven’t even mentioned “Human Rights” up to now.
Testimony to the fact that these aspects have not gone unnoticed is the fact that even the White House is tending to support a “clean” renewal of the sanctions against Iran, with the support of the Democratic candidate. Moreover, as reported in Bloomberg, the Democratic candidate and her allies promise a tougher line on Iran.
It would seem that even amidst the hot blooded personal confrontations and the many discordant issues, one item unites both parties of the House and both candidates. That issue is the need for continued sanctions, a robust policy towards and a demand for more accountability from Iran, following the elections.