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Op Ed: The Impact of US Election Results on the Middle East



The US election has always been important and influential for other countries in the world, especially in the Middle East. This is because the elections in a country with the largest army and military force in the world will affect the entire globe, both economically and politically.

In recent years, we have witnessed different developments in the Middle East, which were completely based on who occupied the Oval Office in the White House. Under George W. Bush, the US invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan. Although both wars were extremely costly to the United States, they led to the removal of the Taliban and end of Saddam Hussein’s regime, which made the Middle East ultimately safer.

Then, under the incompetent presidency of Barack Obama, billions of dollars were given in sanctions relief to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which led to the signing of a nuclear agreement with a dictatorship that was the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world. Obama also withdrew forces from Iraq, which undid all of the wonderful work that Senator John McCain encouraged with the surge and this led to the rise of ISIS in the Middle East.

Fortunately, US President Donald Trump defeated ISIS in the Middle East which led, temporarily, to the strengthening of the Iranian regime in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. However, despite this, the presidency of Donald Trump has had a positive effect on the Middle East. It has led to the peace agreements between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, which is a major nightmare for Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, and the regime in Tehran.

It has also led to heavy sanctions being imposed on the regime in Tehran and made them unable to maintain their terror proxies throughout the region, and it triggered popular protests against Tehran in both Lebanon and Iraq. The sanctions relief during the Obama years is now a thing of the past. Alongside COVID-19, sanctions are making life exceedingly difficult for the regime in Tehran.

In this regard, the following points should be noted:

    1. The US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and the imposition of sanctions against the regime has adversely affected Iran’s ability to wage terror attacks across the region.

2. The restrictions on the activities of Iranian military forces in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq has further weakened the regime in Tehran.

3. The weakening of the Iranian currency has also made life difficult for Tehran. There has been a reduction in economic transactions between the Iranian regime and Europe. The result has been an economic downturn in Iran and a stalemate in the Shiite crescent that the Iranian regime has been trying to establish in the Middle East for years.

4. Peace between Israel and the three Arab states, has become a major nightmare for the Iranian regime and its allies Turkey, Syria, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority.

Trump’s actions against the Iranian regime have affected the entire Middle East. Since the day Trump entered the White House, the value of Iran’s national currency against the US dollar has fallen more than 80%. That means 15% less money every year. This statistic, together with the impact of US sanctions, should help to reduce terrorism throughout the Middle East.

It is clear that the Iranian regime would like to see Trump lose the White House, so that it can regain its military and economic power, as well as its influence in the Arab countries, which it has gained in the past by infiltration.

With the aim of being the most powerful country in the Middle East, Iran continues the fight against Israel, in accordance with the ideals of the Islamic Revolution. This means that Iran wants Biden to be President so that the ‘maximum pressure’ from the US will end. It also means that there will not be any more peace agreements between Israel and other Arab countries without the PA’s consent. This is because the enmity between Arab countries and Israel strengthens the ability of the Iranian regime to control the Middle East. As a result, it is easier to identify Iranian operations than other actors, including Russia, which do not have a clear political orientation.

“US policy toward Iran has failed,” Biden said. “There is a smart way to be tough on Iran,” he wrote in a note to CNN.

Biden thinks that by inviting Iran to take the ‘diplomatic path’, he can put the regime on the path to peace. And he has promised to stop the “destabilizing activities” of the Iranian regime “through friendship.”

Accordingly, the Democratic Party of America has described the program it will follow, if it wins the US presidential election, as follows: “The United States will return to JCPOA and will not pursue the goal of regime change in Iran.”

On the other hand, the peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain with Israel showed that some Arab countries in the Persian Gulf believe that Trump best supports their goals and policies. They would prefer it if he stays in the White House for another four years and increases sanctions pressure to the point that the mullah’s surrender. If this were to occur, this would lead to huge misfortune for the Iranian regime.

Therefore, it is clear that the Iranian regime prefers that Donald Trump not remain in power and that someone like Joe Biden reach the presidency of the United States, so the US will once again be appeasing Iran, just like they did under Obama! In this regard, I refer to the report of William Evanina, head of the US Counterintelligence Center, who says: “Tehran opposes Trump’s re-election victory. Because of the continuing US pressure on Iran, it is trying to change the regime. . . . Iran’s efforts are focused on influencing cyberspace, including spreading misinformation on social media and spreading anti-American content,” he said.

“Hackers linked to Russia, China, and Iran are trying to spy on key figures in the US election,” Microsoft said. “Between May and June, a hacking group called Phosphorus in Iran tried to break into the accounts of White House officials and Trump campaign staff, but it failed.”

But a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry described the company’s report as a “ridiculous” claim, saying that “it does not matter to Iran who takes over the presidency of the White House.”

The Democratic Party of America, led by Joe Biden, has also stated that it opposes “settlement expansion” and Israel’s plan to annex the West Bank. He stressed that the party will reject actions that are not accepted by both sides.

So, looking at the outcome of the US presidential election, we can see two completely different directions. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States will lead to a secure and peaceful Middle East. But if Biden is elected, America will once again be bowing to the whims of the mullah’s in Tehran, and appeasing terrorists across the region and the Muslim brotherhood worldwide, just like they did under Obama.

Neda Amin is an Iranian-born Jewish journalist and human rights activist, who was imprisoned by the ruling clerics for writing a book critical of the Islamic republic’s theocratic governance. Neda now lives in Israel. Read more of Neda’s articles for STW here.

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