Singapore Lessons for Iranians

When Iran Deal was signed, it led to contradictory feelings among Iranians. Reformists saw it as the realization of Hassan Rouhani’s most prominent electoral vow but the conservatives, upset about “excessive concessions of an incompetent administration,” considered it much ado about nothing. Another fraction known here as the Third Estate, those who basically do not support the regime in Tehran, were irritated with Obama administration on different grounds including legitimizing and recognizing a dictatorial regime by negotiating with it and extravagant compromises specifically over the immediate lifting of sanctions and the exorbitant amount of cash that was handed over to Tehran right after the deal was forged. The Third Estate, who was already sour over Obama’s conduct towards the Green Movement back in 2009, went as far as condemning Obama and his administration of treason to the Iranian nation.

During the Presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s criticism of Iran Deal and the cash that was handed over by the Obama administration came as the first proof that Donald Trump in the White House would certainly take a different path towards Iran. With President Donald Trump, reformers started to preoccupy with the future of Iran Deal while the Third Estate, having felt the wind of change blowing at the Capitol Hill, decided to put efforts, at different levels, in pushing Washington in a different course of policy regarding Tehran.

With the abrupt Iran Protests in January 2018, Donald Trump took another visible stance and hit hard at the regime in Tehran for the crackdown on protestors. Unlike his predecessor Trump openly endorsed “Iranian citizens fed up with regime corruption and its squandering of nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad.” The Third Estate knew that it had a strong arm to help push further against the regime.

After months of concern about the destiny of JCPOA and length discussions with other American allies, and despite all the efforts taken by Emmanuel Macron in his clear address at the House of Representatives, Donald Trump finally withdrew from the nuclear agreement with Iran unilaterally. This move was highly appreciated by the Third Estate, making it more optimist than ever that Donald Trump could be the POTUS it has always been desiring whose assistance could be the crucial element in overthrowing the regime in Tehran.

Donald Trump, who had now alienated the other allies, reinstated the sanctions on Iran. The lobbyists, the most famous one known under FDD were hard at work in Washington DC to make this happen. It is commonly stated that the reimposition of the sanctions will bring Iran back to the table, just as it did to North Korea. What the Third Estate, its lobbyists and Donald Trump himself, seem to might have missed here is that what sat Iran down at the negotiation table with Obama administration was, in fact, the sanctions previously applied to the regime.

To the Third Estate, Trump’s tough strategy against North Korea was indeed a pleasant thing. Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” remarks, name-calling Kim, vow to destroy North Korea, unforeseen cancellation of the Singapore Summit came to be the last criterion the Third Estate had been longing for in an American President. The Third Estate went to be as delusional as to believe that Donald Trump has eventually provided them with the five stones to overthrow the Goliath in Tehran.

The Iranian Third Estate should start to mull why Donald Trump is the figure that must be avoided in a battle against the regime in Tehran. Trump’s attitude in Singapore Summit can definitely be subject to harsher criticism than that of Obama’s. While Obama was known by the Third Estate to have legitimized Tehran through talks that were held on the level of Secretary of State, Trump’s meeting with Kim was clearly a step forward for an American administration towards the recognition of a dictatorial regime. Trump’s visible U-turn in dropping his previous charges on “obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people” and calling him “an honorable gentleman who loves his people” must alert the Third Estate. Moreover such a U-turn prove that human rights, what the Third Estate claims to be a fundamental concern, is nowhere close to Donald Trump’s agenda. The Third Estate needs to think twice about the day that Donald Trump might laud the Iranian regime. Furthermore it should take Donald Trump’s inconsistency into account and how he lacks a minimum of stability in his opinions towards any issue. The mere fact that Donald Trump has called Iranian regime a rogue one and has called upon more sanctions against it can not guarantee that he can be trusted as a foreign arm in the process of regime change. As a matter of fact Trump’s inconsistency can turn into a strengthening factor for the regime rather than a debilitating one.

What Trump provided North Korea with is another matter. Trump’s call for the end of military exercises, known as “war games,” is a proof of a United States that is clearly on a path of less intervention across the globe. Trump’s decision, of which South Korea was not aware before it was abruptly announced during the press conference, is a permanence of his previous concerns over the benefits US is receiving from protecting South Korea against its northern neighbor. In a potential encounter, Trump is more likely to concede a lot to the Iranian regime which is necessarily not what the Third Estate is seeking.

The Singapore Summit is gone now. Donald Trump continues to extoll Kim Jong Un’s talent and capability in running a country but it must be a lesson for a lot of Iranian citizens, living through difficult days and looking worriedly for the difficult days to come. The Third Estate, if it wants to keep its hopes for a political success in overthrowing the regime, must see this check marked with “insufficient funds.” Donald Trump’s bank is definitely bankrupt on this issue.

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