TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Following Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the US presidential election early this morning, a number of prominent Iranian and foreign journalists, commentators and analysts expressed their views on the wealthy businessman who is going to take the helm at the White House.
In comments emailed to the Press Shia Agency News Agency on Wednesday, the reporters and pundits made comments about Trump, the processes resulting in his victory, and his possible plans as a president without any political background.
Ali Hashem; Head of Al Mayadeen Online & Columnist for Al-Monitor
This wasn't a vote for Donald Trump, rather a vote against the mainstream politics in the US. Donald Trump isn't the sort of public figure that fits a country as the US, a country that leads the world without any doubt. From now on, we'll have to get used to a new style president of the US. The media played his integrity down during the campaigns, they humiliated him in front of the world. I'm not sure how much the world is going to respect such a president. I hope Mr. Trump, as he went against the odds and won the elections, will go against the odds and change his attitude and will present a new USA.
Ellie Geranmayeh; Middle East Analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations
Europeans were overwhelmingly predicting a Hillary Clinton win, so there will need to be some time for each country in Europe and together within the European Union to formulate how they will continue the transatlantic relations. European and EU leaders have begun to welcome Mr. Trump's presidency, but with a cautious tone. The biggest concern for Europe is the unpredictability of Donald Trump regarding foreign policy. Europe is uncertain what trajectory the transatlantic relations take, particularly in the realm of defense and security according to the NATO rules of engagement and how this will be impacted by a potential US-Russia reset between Putin and Mr Trump.
The Trump win could also impact European domestic politics. Germany and France have important elections in 2017 which could be swayed towards the hard anti-EU right. However, Europeans may also use this moment to consolidate unity in order to strengthen their leverage vis-a-vis US on issues such as trade and security.
Despite the harsh rhetoric on Iran during his campaigning, it is hard to see Trump undermining the JCPOA. This will be technically very difficult given that the agreement has been cemented under international law and supported by Europe, China and Russia. If he does go against pledges, he will unilaterally withdraw the US from the JCPOA and it is highly unlikely that there will be unity within the P5+1 with the US on this issue.
How Mr. Trump devises US policy on Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia will be incredibly important for Iran's regional interests. However, we have no real sense of what this policy will look like as Mr. Trump has not outlined this. But we can expect a closer cooperation between Russia and the US on the Middle East, particularly in the form of fighting against ISIS.
Julian Borger; The Guardian's World Affairs Editor
A real shock. The opinion polls did not fathom the depth of anger across America among the low-paid working poor.
US foreign policy now enters uncharted waters. We have little idea what to expect, but it is likely to be very different from what has come before.
Omid Nouripour; German MP
I’m shocked. Trump won by offending minorities and deepening the gap within the American society. Also it’s a fact that he wasn’t a very strong candidate, the establishment was weak. The GOP’s leadership is now in the driver's seat to contain Trump not going nasty.
Behrouz Kamalvandi; Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)
Iran is ready for any development. Iran will try to keep implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Nathalie Goulet; French Senator & Vice-chairwoman of Foreign Affairs Committee
For all of us, it's a shock, but at the same time it's the result of a campaign based on fears and populism. The most anxious point is about the next US foreign policy, as the Congress will be also Republican. As we know, US policy is leading international policy. We have some hint regarding Trump’s announcements. His vision is dramatically different from Obama's views. This change may affect the new relations with Iran, but also with the PGCC countries.
Regarding Iran, I hope President Obama will use his last 45 days to consolidate and make irreversible the nuclear deal and its implementation.
I think that we may face the axe of devil as we had under the Bush administration. Trump will have to face the real politics too. Let’s wait and see.
Foad Izadi, University of Tehran Professor and US Affairs Analyst
Trump will have problems with Saudi Arabia and Iran, and will be an enemy of Iran, just like Clinton. If Clinton had won, Iran’s case would have been initially sent to the Congress and be addressed there. Because of inclusion of people with a role in clinching the JCPOA in Clinton’s cabinet, she would have adopted anti-Iran policies after a while, with certain groups taking the role of good cops and bad cops in the Congress and the administration, but the pressures on Iran would have mounted under the Congress’ command.
Trump is going to do the same too, but his problem is that most of the prominent US politicians have reached out to Clinton, so it will take some time for Trump to attract some politicians.
When it comes to Iran, Trump’s sole advantage over Clinton is that he will have problems in building international consensus against Iran, while Clinton could have done it easily.
Seyed Hossein Mousavian; Former Iranian Nuclear Negotiator
Europe is mourning over Trump’s victory, but it will cope with him at last. Russia is delighted, but it is not clear how long such delight will endure. Trump’s victory challenged the power institutions in the US, however, this challenge will be managed.
Xin Liu; Chinese Expert & CCTV Geneva Bureau Chief
The US should put its focus and resources in addressing its domestic problems, such as infrastructure, instead of being a global police, intervening in other countries’ affairs. The US simply does not have enough resources for both things at the same time.
Alireza Miryousefi; Director of the Middle East Studies Department at the Institute for Political and International Studies of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
As Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said, we should take account of the main reasons behind the vote of American people, because Trump talked about the real problems of the US.
There are hopes that such realistic views on the US internal affairs during the electoral campaigns would spread into the US foreign policy and Middle East approaches in the post-election era. Specifically, the US will need to fundamentally revise its unconstructive role in the Middle East over the past decades.
Sharmine Narwani; Writer, Commentator and Analyst Covering Middle East Geopolitics
Tonight's results were nothing short of a political earthquake that will reverberate globally for years to come. It represents important validation for those who have been warning of seismic shifts in the existing economic, political, social and financial orders. And now, these shifts have hit the US, the last superpower in decline. Donald Trump is neither a politician nor a sage, but his victory shows that people have reached their limits with old establishments that no longer serve their constituents. This will shake things up in all realms, and put the global power elite on notice.
In terms of a future Trump foreign policy, I am cautiously hopeful. We still don't know much about him, and we certainly don't know if one person can move the US's foreign policy direction in any significant way. There are positive signs however. Trump has called for a reassessment of Washington's alliances and priorities -and has prioritized the fight against terrorism, even suggesting that the US ally itself with old adversaries to do so. This sensible thinking is so far outside what we have come to expect from American policymakers, that it merits some close attention. His hostile attitude toward Iran and the nuclear deal are clearly a cause for concern, but I see no pathway for Trump to actually sabotage this deal -doing so would only serve to isolate the US and undermine its European allies' efforts. During his acceptance speech, president-elect Trump promised to "deal fairly with everyone… seek common ground, not hostility."
"We'll get along with all other nations who are willing to get along with us," he emphasized.
Iranians will have to measure his actions rather than his words. But I suspect Trump's expressed willingness to cooperate directly with Russia against terrorism can provide the US and Iran with some common, immediate goals in the region, toward which they can work in parallel. The hope, too, is that a political outsider like Trump, who expects efficiency and results in his professional life, will also not be as accommodating to spoilers in this region, many of whom fund and support the terrorism he says he wants ended.
There is of course another way to look at this. Hillary Clinton would be so terrible for the Mideast, given her dogged pursuit of US hegemonic ambitions, that Trump could never be worse. She has a long history of encouraging and sanctioning wars against Muslims and Arabs. Trump, I suspect, wants to get things done differently. He says "America" is his priority, and "economy" is how he will fix it. Let's hope for a much-contracted US role in this region. I believe that Trump has the potential to at least seek this new direction.
Diako Hosseini, International Relations Expert
I think the first message of the US election was malfunction of the US political system. The American people’s dissatisfaction with the system became clear with election of a person who has promised to overturn it. Trump will bring about a new era in the United States and the world, caused by rattling an international liberal system which had developed the philosophy of world stability under US leadership for more than half a century.
Trump’s victory may contribute to the emergence of a new round of radical nationalism all over the West, and may also provoke unilateralism as well as sectarian and racial bigotry by weakening the mutual policies with the West which used to serve international peace and cooperation in some occasions.
Abolfazl Zohrevand; Expert in International Developments
It seems that nothing known as the second, third or fourth JCPOA could happen any longer because formation of that process and continuation of such projects will require a series of internal cooperation and links with the US side. However, Republicans will not have such capacity and no subject known as new JCPOAs will be considered.
Trump will certainly be tougher on Iran when it comes to sanctions. Given the majority of Republicans in the Congress, they are expected to impose more sanctions against Iran, which will prove the total harmfulness of the JCPOA.
Stanislav Pritchin; Head of Analytical Group of the Institute of Oriental Studies
The victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election in any case will have strong impact on the international relations. It will happen due to the new president. Unlike his competitor, Trump has no experience in foreign policy, and moreover, he doesn’t have any obligations and long relations with his future counterparts all around the world.
In this regard, we can expect a reduction in US-Russian relations, at least in the nearest future. At the same time, Trump has made plenty of tough statements about foreign policy during this long campaign, but I’m sure that after his coming to the White House, Trump would be more careful and responsible. Even his victory speech was more quiet and discreet.
Today is very difficult to say what Trump’s foreign policy will be, because nobody knows who will fill the cabinet in the new administration. It will depend largely on politicians who will become the new team of the president.