Iran’s Unprecedented Support for Donald Trump

by Roxana Moazami

This past summer, I thought I could escape the presidential election and avoid the Republican National Convention altogether, by going to Iran…but oh boy was I wrong. The minute I walked into my grandma’s living room and turned on the TV, I was shocked to see a familiar face plastered all over the screen: the one and only Mr. Donald Trump. But, something was new to me— Trump was being praised by the Iranians, while Hillary was being shown in a very bad light. I soon realized that overall, Iranians hope—brace yourselves—that Trump will be the next president of the United States

As a side note, Iran had been pro-Sanders. Out of all the candidates, Bernie Sanders was the only one who expressed interest in cooperating with Iran, maintaining the nuclear deal, and being involved in other Middle Eastern affairs, like the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. With Sanders out of the race, most, then, turned to Trump.

But why have Iranians taken this stance, when they are aware of Trump’s views against Muslims? Aren’t they scared that Trump will terminate the Iranian nuclear deal? Yes, all of these are true, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

For one, Donald Trump is seen as an isolationist, which appeals to Iran in its sense of wanting to push American forces out of the region. Also, they claim that Trump is more “negotiable”. Abass Qaidaari, director of the defense and security studies at the office of the Iranian president, states that “Iran believes that current hard realities and economic motivation could even convince Donald Trump with his unconventional approach into developing positive relations with Iran and the rest of the world.” As one can clearly see, they express hope. Also, as Mr. Purpura pointed out to me, Iran is allied with Russia. Russia is pro-Trump, which was especially seen when Putin praised him. This, therefore, has a resonating effect on Iran.

What I found interesting was that Iran is playing on Trump’s flaws. His lack of credibility among the European allies helps Tehran because of a belief that it would be much harder for them to unite against Iran. In addition, in terms of the nuclear deal, Iranians know that both Clinton and Trump have more stern views on Iran than President Obama. However, they feel that it would be in more danger under the hands of Clinton rather than Trump. Once again, they think that Republicans are easier to deal with, considering the fact that there were less pressures on Iran during George W. Bush’s government in comparison to that of Obama’s. In the long run, however, Tehran doesn’t see the executive branch as a threat to their interests. So, whatever the case, they can still assert their dominance in world affairs.

Whether Trump will be our next president or not, I was just so tired of hearing about this election that I flipped the channel and moved on.

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