Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the new US president on Friday. His presidency will be of great importance for all countries including Iran.
Due to political tensions between Tehran and Washington in the last four decades, the prospects of bilateral ties under the new US president will remain in the spotlight.
On the one hand, a nuclear deal that was reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) in 2015 will catch a lot of attention.
During his presidential campaign, Trump had threatened to tear up the agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). However, it seems unlikely that the new US president will scrap the accord.
Some members of the Trump team have anti-Iran stances. But as his senior picks have said, the US is obliged to fulfill its commitments under the JCPOA. Besides, Trump, who has never held political office, needs to get some experience under his belt.
The Iran nuclear accord will not likely be a priority for Trump in the beginning of his work. Washington’s ties with China, the European Union, NATO as well as Russia will be more important to the US compared with the nuclear deal with Iran.
It is unlikely that Trump will create problems for his government by sparking a controversy over the Iran nuclear deal.
Washington is also aware that the JCPOA was approved by world powers and the United Nations Security Council. Hence, any attempts by the US to block the deal will remain futile.
On the other hand, developments in the Middle East will impact Iran-US ties under Trump. If Iran and Saudi Arabia manage to settle their differences through talks, Washington’s interventionist policy will fade. Otherwise, the US will be able to highlight its interventionist role in the region.
This is because some politicians who have been introduced to form the lineup of Trump’s cabinet have anti-Iran views; they accuse the Islamic Republic of creating instability in the region.
Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia will push the Trump government to adopt policies in line with those of the Saudis.
Davoud Hermidas Bavand is a political analyst.