US Elections and the Need to Revise Iran Attitude

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hossein Alaei

As we approach the presidential elections day in the United States questions are asked on the impact of outcome of the polls on Tehran-Washington relations.

Some think an Obama victory would be in Iran’s interest because compared to his Republican rival, the black contender has adopted a softer position in his words and stances vis-à-vis Iran. They say unlike McCain who in his election campaign speeches has talked about bombing Iran Obama has called for unconditional talks with IR of Iran.

Under the status quo, many international observers believe if elected McCain would continue the policies of George Bush in the areas of national security and foreign policy. However, they maintain, a win by Obama would mean change in the policies practiced by the Neo-Cons, particularly in the policies of the US administration in the Middle East and in the warmongering policies of Bush.

The outbreak of the financial crisis in the US in recent months and its spread to other parts of the world; Bush’s failure to eliminate terrorism; escalation of the crisis in Afghanistan and spread of scope of Taliban and al-Qaeda operations to certain geographical parts of Pakistan’s neighboring country all underline the need for change and revision in economic and military spheres by the new US administration.

It is with regard to these conditions that Obama has concentrated his election campaign on the weaknesses of the Bush administration and his Republican rival in the fields of economy and foreign policy.

The support of the American people for Obama who has taken up “change” as his main election campaign slogan and who believes in fundamental changes in the country shows that the public opinion in the US and in the world have realized that the policies of President Bush have failed.

This means that the next occupant of the White House, whether Democrat Obama or Republican McCain, should introduce basic changes in the areas of economy and foreign policy.

Many international analysts and pundits believe that one reason for emergence of the present financial crisis in the US which is turning to an economic crisis is the Bush administration’s offensive foreign policy which regards use of military force as the most effective diplomatic tool. Therefore, a change of policy in these two areas is imperative and an unquestionable demand of the American people from the next administration.

In light of the fact that one of the important challenges of the United States at present lies in the political stability of the Middle East, the new US administration must pay special attention to the role of security-building countries in this region. Also considering that the new American government would be unable, at least for a specific period of time, to fan the flame of war in the Middle East, it is imperative for the administration to accept the existing realities in the Middle East.

Under the status quo, even the government of occupied Iraq is not ready to accept and sign what the US government has offered as security agreement. The Iraqi statesmen see a change of administration in the US an opportunity to sidestep this challenge and problem.

In view of what was said, in order to change its Middle East policies, the next US administration would require a revision in its attitudes and behaviors towards Iran as the most powerful and most effective player in the region. This would provide an opportunity for Tehran and Washington to draw a new course in their bilateral relations.


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