Kaveh Afrasiabi: Tehran's Deft Diplomacy Checkmates Washington
TEHRAN (FNA)- Kaveh Afrasiabi, author and political scientist, says the anti-US position of the P4+1 countries indicates that Iran is gaining the upper hand over the White House.
Speaking in an interview with FNA, Professor Afrasiabi said the White House is shooting itself in the foot as “the US is behaving like a lawless bully that operates in a legal and ethical vacuum… Clearly the intention is to escalate the so-called maximum pressure strategy yet without adequate consideration of the negative consequences for the American interests”.
Kaveh Afrasiabi, Ph.D, is an Iranian political scientist who has taught political science at the University of Tehran, Boston University and Bentley College. Also, he has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Binghamton University, Center for Strategic Research, Tehran and Institute For Strategic Studies in Paris. Dr. Afrasiabi served as Iran’s nuclear negotiation team advisor. He has authored several books on Iran’s nuclear deal, and other topics including Iran, Islam, ecology, Middle East and UN reform.
Below is the full text of the interview:
Q: The E3 says the US Administration’s move to restore UN’s Iran sanctions is illegal. Why do The UK, France and Germany, which are considered Washington’s allies, take such a position against the US?
A: The main reason is that the Trump Administration is in clear and irrefutable violation of UNSC 2231 resolution, and there is no ambiguity or shade of gray in this respect. Credit must also go to Iran's deft diplomacy that has in effect checkmated the US. As a result, today Iran has diplomatic upper-hand which should over time garner more and more political and economic benefits for Iran, all the more reason for Iran to maintain the present course of action with the nuanced diplomacy at both regional and international levels.
Q: US Secretary Pompeo said the countries and entities disobeying the reinstated sanctions will face consequences. How do you view this type of treatment by the US?
A: The US is behaving like a lawless bully that operates in a legal and ethical vacuum. What Washington may gain incrementally to coerce some nations away from Iran comes at exorbitant price for US's image and standing in the international community. Clearly the intention is to escalate the so-called maximum pressure strategy yet without adequate consideration of the negative consequences for the American interests.
Q: Do you believe with the veto-holding UNSC members’ objection to the US’s move, it will actually affect Iran harshly?
A: Obviously the Trump administration is seeking a de-facto restoration of UN sanction that will be accompanied with fresh unilateral sanctions against Iran. But in reality, these will have minimal effects on Iran, which has survived decades of harsh US sanctions. Hopefully Trump will lose the upcoming election and a new administration changes course toward a less confrontational approach toward Iran. Meanwhile the other signatories of the nuclear accord must match their rhetorical opposition to US policy with concrete steps that would nullify the White House's intention of a de-facto snapback sanction regime.