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US-Iran relationship seems anything but certain, professor says

Olivier Rey / Red Dirt Report
Prof. Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh speaks about US-Iran relationship at University of Oklahoma on Feb. 2, 2017.
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NORMAN, Okla. – Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh, a professor of History at Northeastern Illinois University, was invited to talk about the future of the Iran-US relationship in Trump’s era on Feb. 2 at the University of Oklahoma.

Farzaneh said the question of Trump diplomacy open a new chapter for historians as there is no real precedent in the US history.

“Historians can discuss the future only when they critically analyzed past events,” he said. “We don’t know where we are going, but it doesn’t seem very good.”

Farzaneh said Trump’s advisers and ideologues seem to have a view fundamentally racist, supremacist and exclusionary of the world. Perhaps the analyze of the US presence in the Middle East during the last century could help to forecast the future of the US in the region.

“Trump and people around him seem to be clueless,” Farzaneh said.

However, Farzaneh said at the opposite the Iranian’s history and behavior are well known, therefore make it more predictable. He added for the Iranian government it is also the first time they have to deal with an unpredictable superpower.

Farzaneh’s criteria to take into account for Iran are its Shi’a religion and nationalism, a large influence in the Middle East and close tie with Russia and Chinese. But it didn’t stop the US to put Iran in the notice, after the launch of an Iranian rocket a few days ago.

As it is difficult to imagine what will happen in the future, Farzaneh believes the Nuclear Deal that has been signed by Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany should more or less protect Iran from US invasion. It should put the US in minority at the UN council.

In addition, the US has no proof that Iran is not respecting the Nuclear Deal, and Iranians have never participated in a terrorist attack against the US, which is not the case of Saudi Arabia.

However, Farzaneh thought if the US launched military strikes on Iran it will be mostly by naval skirmishes for the control of the Persian Gulf and Strait of Ormuz with possible air strikes on nuclear facilities by Israel.

“The desire to defend the nation is greater in Iran than in the US, as there is no national security issue in the US,” Farzaneh said, adding it will be very difficult for the US to invade Iran as it much bigger and powerful country than Iraq and Afghanistan where the US get entangle.

Then, Farzaneh believes the aggressively of the US toward Iran is due to several factors including, a certain political jealousy, the hostage crisis in 1979, the Saudis, Israel and to a lesser degree, an Arabian country in the Persian Gulf.

“Iran was the single most important country in the Middle East before the revolution,” Farzaneh said.

Further, Farzaneh said Trump immigration ban Executive Order who concern among other Iranians has created a worldwide sympathy for Iranians, countries such as France have already announce to double the numbers of visa accorded to Iranians.

In addition, the US will suffer economically by letting others countries benefiting of the great potential of the Iranian economy such as for Airbus.

“The same people who voted for Trump to bring jobs back this is exactly going to do the opposite,” Farzaneh said.

Farzaneh believes the best way to open minds of the uneducated and ignorant people who voted Trump is to go to talk to them about the real situation. But it will still take decades before the situation improve.

“Nobody is going to narrate our history,” he said. “Muslims are the Jews of the medieval time.”

Unfortunately, professor Farzaneh said legislators are also ignorant about the Middle East situation, preferring to listen to their financial sponsors rather than the constituents who elected them.

“That is a fundamental thing American people need to think about,” he said.

Farzaneh is a visiting fellow for until Feb. 15, at the OU College of International Studies where he will provide lectures and participate in roundtables discussions. Red Dirt Report reported on a prior Farzaneh lecture here.

For more information on the next Farzaneh’s events go on CIS’s website.

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Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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