EghtesadOnline: Former Deputy to US Secretary of State Mark Fitzpatrick urges the European leaders to prevent Trump from taking rash steps that would unravel the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
In an exclusive interview with Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), Fitzpatrick said Trump would be in trouble with the U.S. allies and those who support the JCPOA if he decides to walk away from the agreement.
American official had said before the U.S. presidential election that because JCPOA is an eight-party deal, next US president would not waive it.
According to ISNA, the full text of the interviews comes as follows:
Q: Despite predictions, Trump became the US president. What he said during the election campaign worried many in Europe and Asia, especially in Iran.
We are willing to know your opinion that whether trump would rip up the Iran deal or would be forced to implement it despite his campaign slogan?
A: Given his lack of foreign policy experience and because Donald Trump ran such an unorthodox political campaign, and, it is hard to predict how he will deal with particular issues such as the JCPOA. Much will depend on who he appoints to key positions, particularly as Secretary of State. When he takes office in January, Trump will have many other issues to address. The JCPOA does not present an immediate problem that needs to be fixed. If he did try to tear it up, he would create an unnecessary crisis with American allies, nearly all of whom support the deal. So I do not think that Trump will immediately rip up the JCPOA; rather he may allow it to perish through neglect over time.
During the campaign Trump said many different and sometimes contradictory things about what he would do about the deal, including ‘strictly policing’ it. What he said most frequently was that he wants to renegotiate the deal. He cannot do that, however, without the willing participation of the other parties to the accord, all of whom see the benefits from the deal and wish to keep it intact. I expect that Trump may refuse to extend some waivers of sanctions. He may also could go along with a legislative effort, now being promoted by some members of Congress, to block the sale of Boeing civilian aircraft.
Q: How would you evaluate the EU position on the issue? Ms. Mogherini called the (JCPOA) vital to the EU and voiced her disagreement over any possible changes on it.
The other parties to the JCPOA, particularly the EU, strongly support the deal and see no reason to renegotiate it. There are ways that the deal could be improved of course, and the EU would be willing to support minor adjustments if they could be done by the Joint Commission without rupturing the deal itself. I expect that other European leaders will join High Representative Mogherini in publicly and privately counseling the incoming Trump administration not to take rash steps that would unravel the JCPOA.
Q: Tell us about your prophecy on Trump foreign policy? Would Trump allow extremists, especially those against the Muslim and immigrants, to have a say in his cabinet?
Before he has even selected key Cabinet members, it is impossible to predict much about Trump’s foreign policy. Some observers are dismayed at the selection of Steve Bannon, sometimes described as a white nationalist’ to serve as a ‘chief strategist’ in the White House. This is a newly created position, and how much influence Bannon will wield is unclear. It is possible that he has been given a title without any power. We will have to wait and see.
Q: Concerning Trump’s rigid position on Daesh, is there the possibility that the US and its allies would cooperate with Russia, Iran and Syria? Or will the US continue arming moderate rebels against Assad?
Trump’s policy toward Syria is another unknown. I expect that he will be inclined to seek cooperation with Russia in fighting against Daesh. But Russia has not given priority to countering Daesh; it has spent more energy pushing back against moderate rebels that the United States has supported and will likely continue to try to arm. The Assad regime has also largely left Daesh alone; it actually abetted the rise of Daesh. No US leader could morally cooperate with a man like Assad, who is responsible for so many civilian deaths in Syria and who continues to use chemical weapons. Any country that allows Assad to use such weapons is morally complicit. US cooperation with Iran would be more possible, although it would be very complicated, given the animosity between the US and Iran. In Iraq, the United States is already cooperating with Iran in a de facto manner, in fighting Daesh. This will likely continue, as a matter of pragmatism.
Q: The nuclear briefcase will be in Trump’s hands. How much do you think he is ready to decide on using nuclear weapons?
Trump’s political opponents charged that he does not have the temperament to be trusted with decision making on nuclear weapons. I expect that he will grow in office and will not treat nuclear weapons cavalierly. It is useful to remember that he said last November that he would be ‘highly unlikely’ to use nuclear weapons.
Q: Trump has encouraged South Korea and Japan to build their own nuclear weapons against North Korea regime nuclear threats. Won’t it be against NPT?
Although Trump did say in three interviews last year that it might be fine for US allies including Japan and South Korea to seek nuclear weapons of their own, he later rescinded this view. After consulting with Republican leaders in the Congress, experts he quickly came to understand that for any country to break its obligation to the NPT would be inadvisable.
Q: How do you see the recent marches against Trump? How far would they go? And what would be the consequences?
The 2016 presidential election campaign was fraught with emotion, and Trump’s surprising victory was highly unsettling to the half of the electorate that supported Hillary Clinton and expected her to win. The marches against Trump are a natural expression of the fear that many hold about what a Trump presidency would entail. But opponents should wait to see how he governs before they pre-emptively condemn Trump. Most of them will eventually follow the wise advice of President Obama and realize that they have to accept the results of the democratic process.