Trump Acting on Behalf of Israeli, Saudi Regimes: UK Pundit

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior political analyst based in London deplored recent comments made by US President Donald Trump against Iran and said his “longstanding personal ties” to the Tel Aviv and Riyadh regimes are behind his attempts to demonize the Islamic Republic.

Trump Acting on Behalf of Israeli, Saudi Regimes: UK Pundit

“Trump's antipathy towards Iran is not just a reflection of his own hostility towards the country; his longstanding personal and business ties to Israel and Saudi Arabia means that he is also acting on behalf of the Israeli and Saudi governments in pressurizing and demonizing Iran,” Marcus Papadopoulos said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency. 

Papadopoulos is an expert on Russia and the publisher and editor of Politics First, a non-partisan publication for the UK Parliament.  He earned his MA in Modern History and his Ph.D. in Russian history from Royal Holloway, University of London.  His comments and interviews have appeared in various news outlets, including RT, Al Jazeera, Rossiya 24, TASS and RIA Novosti.

The following is the full text of the interview:

Tasnim: What is your assessment of Donald Trump's speech on the Iran deal and his decision to refer the matter to Congress?

Papadopoulos: Over the last few months, I had said that President Trump would not withdraw the US from the JCPOA because, in short, Iran actually is complying with the terms of the deal - and the other parties to the agreement know this and have rigorously said so.  Despite Mr. Trump harboring a visceral disliking of all things Iranian, he simply has no basis upon which to ditch the Iran deal.  In typical Trump fashion, his speech caused pandemonium, and he did not have the courage or conviction to stand by his assertions, spinelessly referring the matter, instead, to Congress.  Mr. Trump's actions are yet another example of why this reprehensible man is unfit for office.  One can only feel sorry for Americans who are decent, enlightened and cultured - they must feel despondent over having a philistine as a president.  That said, however, Mr. Trump's antipathy towards Iran is not just a reflection of his own hostility towards the country; his longstanding personal and business ties to Israel and Saudi Arabia means that he is also acting on behalf of the Israeli and Saudi governments in pressurizing and demonizing Iran.  By endangering the Iran deal, Mr. Trump is serving only his interests and those of Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Even the president's hardline defense secretary, James Mattis, has said that Iran is acting in compliance with the agreement - and Mr. Mattis has no love for Iran. 

Tasnim: Trump’s stance against the JCPOA is in stark contrast to other parties to the deal. Envoys from the European Union, Germany, France and Britain have declared that the JCPOA is working and Iran is complying with the agreement. What is your assessment of the comments?

Papadopoulos: We have to pay credit where credit is due so therefore I commend the European Union together with Britain, France, and Germany for speaking the truth over the Iran deal and for defying President Trump and exposing his baseless allegations against Tehran.  In a war between the US and Iran, Europe would quickly feel the fallout, not just in economic terms but also in terms of a new refugee crisis engulfing the continent, as a war would set the whole of the Middle East on fire.  I believe that the Europeans are fully aware that Mr. Trump's anti-Iranian hysteria severely threatens the security and stability of Europe but that America is protected, in this context, because of it being on the other side of the world. The EU and Russia must continue to show solidarity for the JCPOA because, amongst other factors, their security partially depends on it.  

Tasnim: Trump had threatened to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization, as he rolls out a broader, more hawkish US strategy on Iran. However, he announced sanctions against the forces on trumped-up charges. It is evident to everyone that the IRGC forces are playing a leading role in the fight against terrorist groups in the Middle East region, like Daesh (ISIS or ISIL). What is your opinion about the designation and what are the reasons behind Trump’s harsh remarks?

Papadopoulos: Once again, Mr. Trump's threat to designate the IRGC is based on his own prejudice towards Iran and his close ties to Israel and Saudi Arabia - in regard to the latter, he is serving the interests of foreign governments.  Whilst most of the American establishment would like to see Iran revert back to the days of the Shah when the country was a client state of the US, the option of achieving this through war is not supported by most policymakers in Washington.  But Mr. Trump is incapable of thinking rationally, and he would appear to be unable to sense danger, which is a worry not just for America but for the entire world, too.  Since Mr. Trump took office, he has made the world even more precarious, as his abnormal mindset in tandem with him wanting to put his own interests and those of his friends in the world first, are dictating his actions.  The moral of the story for Americans is this: a person like Trump should never have been allowed to run for office in the first place. 

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