How will the result of the November three presidential election have an effect on Iran’s relations with america? If incumbent President Donald Trump will get re-elected, will Tehran be compelled to return to the negotiating desk and settle for no matter deal he gives, as he usually claims? Or does Joe Biden, who just lately referred to as for the easing of financial sanctions on Iran, have a greater probability of securing a brand new cope with the nation?
Most Western analysts count on Iran to begin a brand new spherical of negotiations with the US within the new 12 months no matter who wins the election. This prediction has some benefit, as Iran’s financial system has been in dire straits since Trump’s controversial 2018 choice to withdraw the US from the Joint Complete Plan of Motion (JCPOA, generally often called the Iran nuclear deal) and impose a brand new spherical of sanctions on the nation.
This severely broken the Iranian financial system, which was already affected by years of mismanagement, poor governance and corruption. The COVID-19 pandemic additionally added to Iran’s financial woes, and led to stagflation – a mixture of rising inflation and slowing development. The Islamic Parliament Analysis Heart of Iran predicted that if the state fails to vary the path of the financial system swiftly, 57 million Iranian residents, or some 70 % of the inhabitants, will quickly be pushed under the poverty line.
Whereas it might certainly be helpful for Iran to interrupt the deadlock in its relations with the US, analysts who predict a post-election return to negotiations appear to be ignoring one essential issue within the equation: Iran’s inside dynamics and the transformation its regime went via because the signing of the JCPOA in 2015.
Iranians themselves will elect a brand new president in lower than eight months, and lots of count on the brand new Iranian chief to be somebody carefully affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s ideological military. Previously, even mentioning an IRGC member’s attainable participation in elections was taboo, however as we speak, many Iranian political analysts are publicly discussing the opportunity of a guard member changing into the nation’s subsequent president.
Whereas it’s exhausting to foretell whether or not the IRGC will likely be profitable in its bid to take over the manager department in 2021, the truth that it is a very actual – and brazenly mentioned – chance in itself indicators the gradual securitisation and “IRGCisation” of the nation’s political area
Because of this, if we need to perceive what US-Iran relations will seem like after the US presidential election, past analysing Trump and Biden’s overseas coverage proposals, we must also discover the IRGC’s views on negotiating with the US and the 2 American presidential contenders.
Because the guardian of Iran’s regime and its core safety drive, the IRGC is extremely suspicious of Washington’s intentions.
The IRGC management believes that the US is waging a “hybrid conflict” in opposition to Iran that goals to instigate inside unrest and topple its regime via financial assaults and propaganda campaigns which are designed to show the Iranian inhabitants in opposition to their leaders.
In line with Brigadier Common Yadollah Javani, the top of the political bureau of the IRGC, the strategic objectives of the US are to stop Iran’s progress, instil despair and hopelessness within the inhabitants, and sway the youthful technology from the trail of the Islamic revolution.
Attributable to its notion of the US as a dishonest and aggressive enemy that’s decided to destroy the Iranian regime at any price, in addition to its anti-American and anti-imperialist ideological foundations, the IRGC is staunchly in opposition to partaking in any negotiations with Washington, no matter who’s occupying the White Home.
For the IRGC, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA proved past any doubt that the US shouldn’t be a reliable adversary. As Javani has brazenly acknowledged, your entire JCPOA saga satisfied the guard that they “mustn’t consider any negotiations with america any longer”.
Furthermore, the leaders of the IRGC don’t see a lot distinction between Democrats and Republicans on the subject of their insurance policies on Iran. They imagine, as Javani just lately warned, a Democratic victory in November shouldn’t be seen as a possibility to return to negotiations, as each political events try to realize the identical consequence, albeit via totally different means.
Maybe much more crucially, as an ideological navy drive tasked with defending the regime, the IRGC’s raison d’être is to oppose American imperialism. Ideological indoctrination makes up greater than half of the required coaching to grow to be a member of the guard. And a fast take a look at the IRGC’s Ideological-Political Coaching textbook demonstrates how its members view the US: an evil regime hellbent on world domination. On this world view, the place Iran is on the facet of all the things good (jebeh-e Hagh) and the US is the illustration of all that’s evil (jebeh Boatel), there is no such thing as a house for negotiations, and the battle between the 2 nations will proceed till certainly one of them falls.
Collaborating in, and even showing supportive of, negotiations with the People would undermine the IRGC’s ideological foundations and could also be perceived as a betrayal of the revolution by its supporters at dwelling and overseas. Anti-Americanism is the central element of the IRGC’s ideology and the supply of Iranian Supreme Chief Ayatollah Khamenei’s political attraction. It can’t be eroded.
Within the eyes of the IRGC, normalising relations with the US shouldn’t be an total recipe for resolving Iran’s myriad of financial troubles both. The guard believes, as they state of their propaganda supplies concentrating on the home market, that the principle wrongdoer behind Iran’s financial devastation shouldn’t be Washington’s financial sanctions, however the Iranian liberal elites and technocrats who presently dominate the nation’s decision-making our bodies and engender widespread corruption and inequality.
For the IRGC, negotiations with the US are ineffective in fixing Iran’s multifaceted issues, and, mentioned issues can solely be remedied via the institution of a younger “Hezbollahi” (extra conservative and non secular) authorities. The “rejuvenation of the regime” was additionally a central precept Khamenei’s February 2019 manifesto outlining his plans for the nation’s future, entitled “The Second Section of the Revolution”.
Furthermore, the IRGC didn’t neglect or forgive the January three assassination of IRGC Quds Power commander Qassem Soleimani by the US. The demise of Soleimani, who was a charismatic and influential chief, has tactically weakened the IRGC Quds Power and its missions within the area. Mirroring Khamenei, who declared “the regime will always remember the assassination of Soleimani”, IRGC chief Main Common Hossein Salami just lately emphasised that the guard will do all the things in its energy to avenge the loss of life of the commander.
In brief, the IRGC has little purpose or motivation to push for a brand new spherical of negotiations with the US. The IRGC shouldn’t be ready for a brand new, extra amenable president to maneuver into the White Home and restart diplomatic efforts to resolve the issues between Iran and the US. As an alternative, it’s working tirelessly to finish the domination of the US within the Center East and past. Common Javani made this clear in a latest interview the place he mentioned “America is sort of a cancerous development that must be shrunk and eradicated”, later clarifying that their intention is to not “disappear America from the face of the earth” however fairly destroy its capitalist system, which has harmed many different nations in addition to Iran.
The IRGC is quickly increasing its political affect in Iran, and subsequent 12 months’s election could consequence within the navy drive additionally gaining management of the presidency. By way of overseas coverage, this is able to imply the Quds Power changing into much more lively within the area, persevering with its resistance to the US and its allies. And when it comes to bilateral relations with the US, it means the opportunity of a post-election rapprochement, or perhaps a new line of dialogue, is nearly non-existent – no matter who finally ends up occupying the White Home within the new 12 months.
The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.