Is Trump Hoping for another Ahmadinejad in Tehran?

Warning about Iran relying on Russia under Trump, Hermidas Bavand added, “Some remarks that are being made [about the new US administration], and especially by the opponents of [President Hassan Rouhani’s] government, it is not necessary to express [such things]. … We can’t ignore America and just be optimistic about our relationship with Russia. The Russians are pursuing their own national interests. They will take maximum advantage of Trump … and we can’t be optimistic that Russia will always have the same policy as us in the region.”

Meanwhile, the Reformist Shargh Daily wrote on Jan. 21, “We should definitely name the presidency [term] of Donald Trump as ‘The Curious Case of Donald Trump.’ Everything about him is strange and in an unusual manner, yet he has been successful so far.”

“But who knows what will happen in the end. Maybe someone should translate the proverb of Iranians that says ‘All is well that ends well,’ and of course, the behavior, measures and demeanor of Trump beyond the normal reminds us of someone special and strange in Iran,” wrote the Reformist daily, implicitly referring to former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In this vein, foreign policy analyst Mahdi Motaharnia warned Iranian policymakers about ending up trapped in Trump’s game, telling the Reformist Vaghaye Etefaghie on Jan. 22, “Trump is looking for another Trump in Tehran in the next [May 2017] presidential election of Iran … so that Iran is the one that tears up the JCPOA. And by tearing up the JCPOA, what would be the result? Another international coalition against Iran.”

He added, “If [the responsibility of] leading the country is given to him [incumbent President Rouhani], he knows very well how to control the game between 2017 and 2021, and how to raise Tehran’s position to the level of the major and great countries of the world.”

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