Iran media: Biden may not bring hope, Trump won’t bring war

A vote for Biden is thus an end to “maximum pressure” on Iran, while Trump will bring war.

US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their final 2020 presidential campaign debate in the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, US, October 22, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR)
US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their final 2020 presidential campaign debate in the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, US, October 22, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR)
Iran’s Tasnim News has created a list of six reasons that people should not believe a change in the US government will necessarily lead to positive outcomes for Iran. Don’t believe the “false signals,” the pro-government media said in Tehran.  
The first argument is that if Trump wins then war and misery will result. A vote for Biden is thus an end to “maximum pressure” on Iran, while Trump will bring war. Not so fast, say the Iranian analysts. “The Americans have considered the military option against Iran several times over the last decades, but have never seen it work in their favor.” The article points out that “even during the Trump era, when the president is considered stubborn and unpredictable, even with the downing of the US drone [in June 2019] and the missiles fired at the Ain al-Assad base [January 2020], the US government did not dare to take military action against Iran.” 
The article argues that some in Iran have praised Biden without doing a full analysis of the last several years. “Be realistic..The reason is clear. Due to poor performance and lack of good economic, political, social and cultural achievements and records, some seek to secure the space and bring a false shadow of war on the country in order to make a political living from this place.” The article appears to point to Iranian “fearmongers” who thrive on war worrying. 
“There is talk of intensifying the maximum pressure if Trump wins again, while its advocates have openly expressed doubts about its effectiveness,” the author notes. The piece argues that the US is now out of options, it has used all its sanctions. “Trump administration has little choice but to impose more sanctions on Iran. Experts, in addition to acknowledging the depletion of US sanctions, have warned that the US sanctions tool is worn out, and that depletion of this economic leverage will reduce the effectiveness of sanctions or destroy them over time.”  
Second, the Iranian article asserts that Biden has come up with his own methods to pressure Iran. “In part of his memo, Biden challenges Trump's policy toward Iran, writing that ‘Trump's promise to prevent Tehran from engaging in aggression in the region ... was empty-handed.’ This shows that Biden believes that the current US pressure on Iran is a hollow slogan and that real pressure on Iran should be put into practice. In other words, he is in favor of smarter pressure on Iran.” Tasnim points to Biden foreign policy advisor Antony Blinken as an example of someone who will have a role in a Biden administration and also wants to have a strategy of pressure on Iran. “Therefore, the heart of reality and the distortion of Biden's real strategy towards Iran is thought-provoking.” 
The article also says that Iran must not be strategically naïve. The Iran Deal will not return so easily. “Democrats naturally criticize Trump from every angle during the election before they come to power, but that does not mean that they will easily overtake the levers and opportunities that Trump has created for the United States. People close to Biden have made this point many times. On the contrary, many of Democrats' criticisms of Trump over Iran may become their official policy after he takes office.” That means that Biden could push more isolation of Iran. “Jake Sullivan, Joe Biden's current aide and former national security adviser to the Obama administration, is one of the people explaining Biden's foreign policy,” the article notes. It quotes him as saying "Joe Biden will negotiate an agreement with Iran that will effectively advance the security of the United States, Israel and our other regional partners, holding Iran accountable,"  
The article notes that there won’t be a reduction of sanctions. “Our Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, considers the need for the United States to return to the nuclear deal to compensate for the damage done to Iran…The statements of our country's officials are important in this regard; Because any green light to return easily and without compensating for previous damages and necessary penalties, in fact, the green light is to put pressure on them to not repeat the previous actions and use the Iran Deal as a platform.” In short, a US return to the deal isn’t even in Iran’s favor, Iran wants reparations.  
Fourth, Iran should not show too much willingness to negotiate with a future Biden administration. “The outcome of sending such a message will not be the counting of national interests and the lifting of sanctions, but the determination of the other side not to adhere to and not to retreat from the oppressive and failed strategy…Altogether, with such a process, the negotiating enthusiasts are essentially tangential to the maximum pressure campaign.”  Basically the argument is that if Iran agrees to negotiate again, it must do so from a position of strength. 
Fifth, Iran should not send a signal of despair. “As much as Americans talk about the failure of the policy of maximum pressure, some people reflect the opposite inside the country. The Americans acknowledge that their sanctions have been emptied and that their policies have failed to lead to economic and political collapse in Iran.” This means Iran thinks it may have defeated the Trump administration and there is no need to hope for a new US administration. They believe Trump has largely failed and this is good for Iran.  
Last, the article says that it is time for Iran to work more closely with China. “China has led many countries and even Iran's rivals, such as Saudi Arabia and European countries, to move towards more cooperation with Beijing. The prospects for China's economic power and China's current strategic differences with the United States can naturally be reason enough to pay special attention to the East.” 
The article goes on to note that “Some have a tactical view of the East-looking strategy, arguing that problems need to be resolved with the United States or Europe, in which case there is no need for the East. But such a statement is not true. First, the United States is not the solution to the country's problems, but on the contrary, it is the source and root of many problems. Second, the issue of increasing cooperation with the East must be a process independent of cooperation with the West. Regardless of Iran's position with the West, cooperation with the East is of strategic importance.” 
The article, which headlined Tasnim on Saturday, clearly shows that Iran is hedging its bets. It is not all-in for Biden and it thinks that a Trump win could benefit some in Iran. This means breaking the role of those in Iran who supported the deal and instead believing that Iran can outplay the US and bring in China to help confront the US in the Middle East.