Biden’s Presidency: Bad News for Iran-US Relations

Mahdi Khanalizadeh
Analyzing the actions of different political groups and parties in the United States towards Iran makes experts conclude that US foreign policy strategies do not change when there is a Democrat or a Republican president in the White House.
ParsiPolicy -  

Democrats have proved more threatening as they use a soft rhetoric and take a serious approach when it comes to psychological operations. However, there are still some Iranian politicians who believe in the myth of “good Democrats vs. bad Republicans.”


Now that we are getting close to the US 2020 presidential election, this belief is getting stronger among some experts; pointing to Donald Trump’s harsh actions and strategies against Iran, those experts believe that if he loses the election and a Democrat comes to power, it will be a big achievement and to the benefit of Iran. Based on their analysis, if Trump wins a second term, there will be more pressure against Iran and the chances of a military confrontation between Tehran and Washington will increase.


Yet, when we examine the US political structure and the current status of the presidential candidates, we clearly understand that such a belief could be really dangerous and harmful to our national interests.

Both Democrats and Republicans share the same macro strategy which they adhere to through different tactics.


The Boiling Frog

The difference that some consider to exist between the two American political parties, is not based on their fundamentals and principals of national and international policies, but it is mainly based on a perception made and presented by media and journalists about those parties.


In fact, both parties share the same macro strategy which they adhere to through different tactics. So it makes no difference in the US strategy in national and international policies whether there is a Democrat in the power or a Republican.


To understand it better, let’s take the case of General Qasem Soleimani’s assassination by the US as an example. Even the most distinguished Democrats supported Trump’s decision to assassinate the high-ranking Iranian general, arguing it was a right action just made in the wrong time.  


But what is the difference between Republicans’ and democrats’ strategies towards Iran? Consider the myth of the boiled-frog. Based on the myth, if a frog is suddenly put into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water and brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.

The democrats’ approach towards Iran is similar to killing the frog by slowly bringing the water to boil


How Both Parties see Iran

Both Democrats and Republicans have a shared final goal which is the destruction of Iran.  However, the democrats’ approach towards Iran is similar to killing the frog by slowly bringing the water to boil. In this strategy, the slow process of boiling makes some Iranian politicians fail to understand the danger, just like the strategy of the former US President Barack Obama.


He started by imposing the harshest sanctions of history against Iran and moved toward weakening Iran’s nuclear power. He also intended to weaken Iran in other aspects- including its defense structure, its networking power in the region, and its deterrence- through what was called by the media as the second or third JCPOAs.


But Trump put the frog right into a boiling water, so even the most pro-west Iranian politicians felt the danger and therefore decisions like selling oil to Venezuela or mutual strategic treaties between Iran and some other countries were made, in order to save Iran’s economy.


One of the most important features of Trump’s presidency is the damage it made to the US “soft power”. If Biden comes to power, Trump’s policies will be maintained, yet with a nicer look. In fact, with Biden in the White House, the US aggressive approach towards Iran will remain the same but its “soft power” will increase at the same time.


From the strategic viewpoint of US officials, Biden is a Trump without mistakes, a politician with nationalistic approaches which follows Trumps policy in making America stronger, without creating any tensions.