Everyone thinks that Donald Trump urgently needs Iran’s agreement to negotiate. According to the US President, he wants negotiations without conditions and with the sole aim of ensuring that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.
Why does he need Iran to agree to negotiate? This is an important question, the answer to which is a guide for everyone to know how political battles are handled.
Trump is only interested in starting negotiations with Iran and he believes that he can run them as he pleases and according to his timetable and not Iran’s. After a series of setbacks since he became president — the Mexico border wall; health insurance; a trade war; withdrawal from the climate deal; an attempt to destroy the UN and freeze UNRWA — Trump cannot be assured of the outcome of his re-election unless Iran agrees to negotiate.
This escalation and dramatic preparations for what is going on in the Gulf — including the attacks on the oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which were quite possibly carried out by Israel; shooting down the unmanned spy drone and not an aircraft with people on board; Trump praising Iran’s wisdom and then launching a cyber-attack to paralyse radar computers and rocket batteries; US National Security Adviser John Bolton’s discussions with the Israeli Prime Minister and his threats of war — are signs of someone who has lost his nerve and is being eaten away by anxiety and worries about the future. Trump is clearly someone with only one goal and that is to win the 2020 election and return to the White House, no matter what comes after that. This is the essence of his destructive racism, Zionism and narcissism.
In fact, the US President has been misled by his own arrogance and misguided by Western allies, which neither know the meaning of dignity nor understand that ancient peoples have centuries of wisdom and experience to fall back on, as well as the character and will to take back their rights.
Western predictions convinced Trump that economic pressure, blockade and threats would bring Iran to its knees and have the government in Tehran running to the negotiation table. He was surprised when Iran’s Supreme Leader told the Japanese Prime Minister that Iran refuses to negotiate with Washington, and that he would not respond to Trump’s message because the US President does not deserve a response from him. These are words born of national pride and the people’s will to fight the oppressors and support the oppressed.
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe understood exactly what Ali Khamenei meant, because Japan is also a nation deep-rooted in dignity and its cultural and civilisational heritage. Furthermore, it has the experience within living memory of being the target of US nuclear weapons dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Thus, Trump actually needs the approval of Iran to succeed in next year’s presidential election; he has, in effect, put his future in Tehran’s hands. The Iranians can either fail him or help him, which is some achievement. This does not deter him though. He announced that there was an attack planned against Iran but that he cancelled it with just 10 minutes to go because his soft heart could not bear to kill 150 civilians in return for an unmanned aircraft. He is dumb enough to think that Iran has forgotten the huge number of people killed by US troops and weapons in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen.
While the US President keeps saying that Iran is acting wisely, his son-in-law Jared Kushner failed in Bahrain and his security sidekick Bolton resorted to Benjamin Netanyahu who made brazen and racist statements that Iran is attacking Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, a reference to its support for the axis of resistance which refuses to normalise relations with Israel. Such rhetoric, of course, is not directed at public opinion in the region, but rather at the palaces occupied by those who work for the US administration and its security services, including Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman who, some believe, was recruited by Kushner and his wife, Trump’s daughter Ivanka. Bin Salman is apparently manipulated easily by Kushner and is being used as the conduit to empty Arab and Muslim wealth into Zionist pockets, as well as the US military-industrial complex.
With all of this going on, therefore, let’s assume that Donald Trump is backing away from attacking Iran and gets ready for talks with Tehran. I suggest that we insist on the negotiations being about all nuclear weapons in the Middle East, not just about Iran’s nuclear programme. Let’s have the nuclear disarmament of Israel, just as Trump wants to disarm North Korea. Why should Israel be the exception?
This article first appeared in Arabic in Rai Alyoum on 25 June 2019
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.