"Coming one day before the Israeli elections, this decision is transparently designed to help Trump's ally Netanyahu", Ford said on Monday.
Trump was also ensuring continued massive financial support from US billionaire casinos owner Sheldon Adelson who also bankrolled Netanyahu, Ford explained. "By helping the Israeli leader, Trump will be cementing his own support from the billionaire Sheldon Adelson who helps fund the electoral campaigns of both Trump and Netanyahu", Ford said.
However, the announcement on Monday would not have the slightest effect in moderating or otherwise influencing Iran’s policies, Ford emphasized.
"One thing which the decision is definitely not is a serious attempt to affect Iran's policies. You would have to be deranged to believe that as a result of this insult Iran will become more meek and compliant", Ford said.
"So beyond the short term boost for Netanyahu and payoff from Sheldon Adelson what we have here is just more irresponsible gesture politics designed to bolster Trump's macho image and appeal to his core supporters in the United States", Ford said.
Trump’s move would also boomerang in undermining his own credibility as a serious international statesman and widen the chasm of distrust that European leaders already felt toward him, Ford warned.
"The decision will reinforce the growing impression in the thinking world that the President of the United States is a dangerous bull in a china shop, careless of further destabilizing the Middle East and other theaters. It is most unlikely that the European Union will follow the American example", Ford said.
The impact on Iran itself of Trump’s announcement was likely to be extremely limited and Iran already faces severe US sanctions Ford advised.
Instead of strengthening the US regional presence, Trump’s announcement would lead to increased anti-American activities by the IRGC and other pro-Iranian forces in Iraq and intensify pressure on US military forces to finally leave the country after 16 years of occupation, Ford predicted.
Some of Trump’s most hawkish advisers may have urged Trump to make the move hoping it would infuriate the IRGC enough to launch attacks on US forces in Iraq or Syria that the United States could then use as an excuse to launch strikes on Iran, Ford warned.
"If some of Trump's most wild-eyed advisers wanted to provoke Iran into attacking US troops in Syria or Iraq in order to justify military strikes on Iran they would not go about it differently. Iran however is not likely to fall into this trap", Ford concluded.
Ford was the United Kingdom’s ambassador in Syria and Bahrain before joining the United Nations to work on refugee issues. He is co-chairman of the British Syrian Society.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Peter Ford and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.