By Hossein Mousavian*

How Tehran must confront Washington’s threats

Tehran, Feb 8, IRNA - Decisions taken by US President Donald Trump have sparked an unprecedented controversy in America and the world.

Trump should be responsible for the promises he made during his presidential campaign. He has challenged Washington’s membership in major international agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as well as the Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). His move has caused concern among Washington’s allies, including European countries, Canada and Australia.

The consequences of Trump’s anti-Iran decisions will be important to the Islamic Republic. Hence, Iran should consider likely threats that instantly impact the country’s national security and national interests.

Trump will not scrap the JCPOA despite his promises during the presidential campaign to tear it up. However, he continues to mull over imposing tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic. He is trying to enforce penalties under the pretext of Iran’s missile tests and what the White House calls “Tehran’s support for terrorism”.

Statements made by Trump’s team indicate that the White House has started a new anti-Iran campaign. The US and its allies have concluded that they could build up elevated pressures on Tehran without violating the nuclear accord.

Iranian officials should take Washington’s anti-Iran measures seriously for two reasons.

First, Trump will face serious challenges both inside and outside the US if he wants to fulfill his promises such as building a wall along the US-Mexican border and parting from major international deals. However, he will be able to mobilize support for his anti-Iran measures inside the US.

Second, Trump’s decisions are unpredictable and influential. Senior members of his team in the field of foreign policy and national security have held top military portfolios in the Middle East who harbor anti-Iran approaches.

Meanwhile, certain political parties in Iran were under the illusion that Trump would take an approach against some Arab nations, withdraw US forces form the region and cooperate with Iran and Russia to help the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

However, Trump’s stances in the first month of his presidency show that he will spare no effort in launching smear campaigns against Iran.

From now on, he will try to pick on Iran to divert attention from the issues that might make trouble for him.

Trump’s executive order to ban citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries, including Iran, from visiting the US sparked a “political earthquake” against his government. But he highlighted Iran’s missile test to depict the Islamic Republic as a big threat. This helped the US president to distract public opinion and ease pressure on his government over the order.

Some analysts say Trump might trigger a war between the US and the Islamic Republic.

This scenario is not unlikely but it is not on the White House’s agenda.

Disseminating news provoking anti-Iran aggression is part of a psychological war accompanied by sanctions to adversely affect the world’s trade and investment cooperation with Iran.

The Trump administration will try to replace Islamophobia with Iranophobia to achieve its goals.

Hence, the Islamic Republic should adopt four strategies.

First, it should refrain from taking measures which contribute to further anti-Iran moves by the US.

Second, Tehran must do away with emotional slogans and acts.

Third, the Islamic Republic should press ahead with its efforts aimed at preserving global stability.

Fourth, Iran requires a comprehensive and influential plan to confront the threats of the White House.

* Hossein Mousavian is a specialist in the program on science and global security at Princeton University.

Source: Iran Daily Newspape