How will the result of the November 3 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 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 anticipate Iran to start out a brand new spherical of negotiations with the US within the new 12 months no matter who wins the election. This prediction has some advantage, as Iran’s economic system has been in dire straits since Trump’s controversial 2018 resolution to withdraw the US from the Joint Complete Plan of Motion (JCPOA, generally referred to as the Iran nuclear deal) and impose a brand new spherical of sanctions on the nation.
This severely broken the Iranian economic 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 progress. The Islamic Parliament Analysis Middle of Iran predicted that if the state fails to alter the route of the economic system swiftly, 57 million Iranian residents, or some 70 % of the inhabitants, will quickly be pushed beneath the poverty line.
Whereas it could 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 inner dynamics and the transformation its regime went by way of for the reason that signing of the JCPOA in 2015.
Iranians themselves will elect a brand new president in lower than eight months, and lots of anticipate 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 at present, many Iranian political analysts are publicly discussing the potential of a guard member turning into the nation’s subsequent president.
Whereas it’s laborious to foretell whether or not the IRGC will likely be profitable in its bid to take over the chief department in 2021, the truth that this can be a very actual – and overtly mentioned – chance in itself alerts the gradual securitisation and “IRGCisation” of the nation’s political enviornment
For this reason, if we need to perceive what US-Iran relations will appear to be after the US presidential election, past analysing Trump and Biden’s overseas coverage proposals, we also needs to 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 pressure, the IRGC is extremely suspicious of Washington’s intentions.
The IRGC management believes that the US is waging a “hybrid warfare” in opposition to Iran that goals to instigate inner unrest and topple its regime by way of financial assaults and propaganda campaigns which might be designed to show the Iranian inhabitants in opposition to their leaders.
In response to Brigadier Basic Yadollah Javani, the pinnacle of the political bureau of the IRGC, the strategic targets of the US are to forestall Iran’s progress, instil despair and hopelessness within the inhabitants, and sway the youthful era from the trail of the Islamic revolution.
On account of its notion of the US as a dishonest and aggressive enemy that’s decided to destroy the Iranian regime at any value, 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 isn’t a reliable adversary. As Javani has overtly 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 in terms of their insurance policies on Iran. They consider, as Javani lately warned, a Democratic victory in November shouldn’t be seen as a possibility to return to negotiations, as each political events try to attain the identical consequence, albeit by way of completely different means.
Maybe much more crucially, as an ideological army pressure 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 aspect of every part good (jebeh-e Hagh) and the US is the illustration of all that’s evil (jebeh Boatel), there is no such thing as a area for negotiations, and the battle between the 2 nations will proceed till one in every 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 residence and overseas. Anti-Americanism is the central element of the IRGC’s ideology and the supply of Iranian Supreme Chief Ayatollah Khamenei’s political enchantment. It can’t be eroded.
Within the eyes of the IRGC, normalising relations with the US isn’t 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 offender behind Iran’s financial devastation isn’t Washington’s financial sanctions, however the Iranian liberal elites and technocrats who at the moment 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 by way of 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 overlook or forgive the January 3 assassination of IRGC Quds Drive commander Qassem Soleimani by the US. The demise of Soleimani, who was a charismatic and influential chief, has tactically weakened the IRGC Quds Drive and its missions within the area. Mirroring Khamenei, who declared “the regime will always remember the assassination of Soleimani”, IRGC chief Main Basic Hossein Salami lately emphasised that the guard will do every part in its energy to avenge the loss of life of the commander.
Briefly, the IRGC has little purpose or motivation to push for a brand new spherical of negotiations with the US. The IRGC isn’t 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. Basic Javani made this clear in a latest interview the place he mentioned “America is sort of a cancerous progress that must be shrunk and eradicated”, later clarifying that their goal is to not “disappear America from the face of the earth” however somewhat 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 army pressure additionally gaining management of the presidency. By way of overseas coverage, this could imply the Quds Drive turning into much more energetic 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 potential 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.