Sputnik: What is your take on Washington’s current strategy towards Iran?
Dr Alam Saleh: Washington's main strategy, commenced since May this year, is to put Iran under greater economic pressure. This, according to officials in Washington, would further disenchant Iranians from the government in Tehran, and as result it would either lead to the collapse of the Islamic Republic, or it force Tehran to enter a new negotiation to give greater advantages to Washington and its regional allies, which weakens Iran’s regional influence and power.
Sputnik: Do you think that US sanctions on Tehran will be successful and will allow the Trump administration to achieve its goals?
Sputnik: Several EU countries, namely the signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, have said that they will reject US sanctions against Tehran, while China and Turkey said they will continue purchasing Iranian oil and gas. What signal do you think has this sent to non-Iranian companies doing business with Iran?
Dr Alam Saleh: This can somehow help Iran’s economy to survive, but not enough to establish a strong economy and meet people’s expectations. The EU cannot force its big companies to invest in Iran; those companies do rely on the USA more than their own home, Europe! Small companies, however, may invest, but the investment is not large and effective enough to help Iran go through such economic hardness. In other words, the EU should more effectively and seriously attempt to help Iran to persuade Tehran to stay loyal to the nuclear agreement. For instance, making sure that EU countries buy Iran’s oil, and to create financial means to ensure that Iran can be paid for its sales abroad.
Sputnik: Some reports suggest that US National Security Advisor John Bolton has advocated for military action against Iran in the past. How likely is the US to launch this war, in your opinion?
Sputnik: With both US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Rouhani using strong words in regards to each other’s policies, what do you think needs to happen for the two sides to settle their differences?
Dr Alam Saleh: The differences are too deep and to move beyond such differences requires great compromises, especially since Trump has left the internationally recognized nuclear deal. Tehran has no reason to trust Trump administration, Tehran needs a guarantee for any further talks and negotiations, which the current government in Washington cannot provide. Tehran and Washington do not trust each other, and they have so many reasons why!
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