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    Syria, Afghanistan and Now Iran? Why Trump's Policies Lack 'Strategic Approach'

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    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has lashed out on Iran, accusing it of sponsoring terrorism and destabilizing numerous countries in the Middle East. He claimed that an unchecked Iran could follow the path of North Korea.

    During his campaign, now US President Donald Trump repeatedly called the agreement with Iran “the worst deal ever negotiated,” raising concerns that he could rip up the long-negotiated accord.

    Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with Dr. Georg Löfflmann, a researcher and teaching fellow in international security at the University of Warwick.

    “I think the problem is that there is a general degree of uncertainty about what the intentions of the Trump administration are and what policies might follow from these intentions. There is a lot of blustering rhetoric that is already there since the presidential campaign,” Löfflmann said.

    He further said that over the past few weeks the US has demonstrated very aggressive military moves in Syria and Afghanistan.

    “However, in all of this it is difficult to see a coherent, strategic approach of Trump’s administration either toward North Korea or to the Middle East or toward Iran,” the expert said.

    He mentioned that this sort of approach could be explained due to the sort of “erratic personality of the US president himself.” The spur of the moment decisions lack a coherent approach and want to “project an image of the US  hegemony.”

    “The projection of this image of a super power and of its hegemon together with this marshal leader, a lot of this is just public relations. It could be done to distract the public from domestic problems inside the country,” Löfflmann said.

    Taking about Rex Tillerson’s accusations against Iran, the expert said that this isn’t so unprecedented in terms of the US foreign policy because even during the Obama administration the nuclear agreement with Iran was pursued very reluctantly.

    “I don’t think that the Trump administration wants to step away from Iran’s nuclear agreement because all the other problems that are destabilizing Iran would still be there in the region and I don’t think that Trump wants to launch an attack on Iran any more than Obama did,” the analyst said.

    But he stressed that in Trump’s case this is more about “perception management.”

    “He [Trump] wants to create the idea that the US is still the most powerful and most important actor in foreign politics and there is a sort of unpredictability and uncertainty about what actions the US will take,” Lofflamnn said.

    He further spoke about the method of “Trump’s doctrine.”

    According to him it is not necessary that there would be a follow-through regarding Iran after the US’s grandiose rhetoric.

    Speaking at a press conference in Washington on Wednesday, the US Secretary of State announced that the Trump administration has launched a review of US policy towards the Islamic Republic.

    During the same event, Tillerson also claimed that the nuclear deal with Tehran has failed to achieve its goal of keeping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The agreement in question was reached by Iran and six major powers in July 2015.

    Under the deal, Tehran committed itself to curbing its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

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    Tags:
    escalation, rhetoric, foreign policy, interview, Mike Pence, Reince Priebus, Donald Trump, United States