A senior expert on American affairs believes that the disputes between Iran and the U.S. over the 2015 nuclear deal – JCPOA- and tensions in relations are not resolved with a change of power in Tehran and Washington.
“The JCPOA and Iran and America’s relations are beyond factional changes both in America and in Iran,” Amirali Abolfath tells Tehran Times.
Abolfath also says there are “intra-party disagreements” within American Republicans and Democrats.
Following is the text of the interview:
Q: Why did the “red wave” fail to win more seats in the U.S. midterm elections?
A: The media owned by the conservatives tried to promote the red wave in the mid-term congressional elections, but it did not mean that the American society is necessarily ready for a red wave. Regardless of the ideological reviews, polls and a number of experts had predicted the current results. I mean many media outlets had already said that Republicans would eke out the House of Representatives, and the Democrats would retain control of the Senate, or Republicans may win the Senate by one or two seats. Therefore, we should not believe that a red wave was widely predicted in America.
Republicans had hopes that red wave would happen, but there were no real signs for the fulfillment of this prediction. Because the American society is highly divided and none of the two parties has a significant advantage over the other. Neither Democrats can ride a blue wave nor Republicans a red wave. Democrats in 2020 elections won both the Senate and the House of Representatives by a slim majority. This proves that the American society is not ready for a red wave unless something special happens. I used to check the election forecasts and could see that few except for the right-wing media predicted a red wave which did not happen.
Q: A report was recently published about the influence of Gen Z on the midterm elections, and their support for Democrats was a key factor in Republicans’ failure. Why do Gen Z support American Democrats?
A: Gen Z in most countries usually forms the young people. If I’m not mistaken, in America, Gen Z is from 1990 to 1996 who are more into liberal values including individual freedoms, social freedoms, socialization, attention to minorities’ rights such as women’s rights, transgender’s rights, religious and ethnic minorities. These young people are also familiar with advanced technologies such as social networks. They are both consumers and creators of social networks.
“If they (Americans) had reached an agreement on JCPOA, it would not have affected the elections.”Young generations are usually more liberal in thought but as they get older, they enter the society, get married, get a job, so they become more conservative. It is the same in most countries.
This is a human characteristic that as he gets older, he gets away from idealism and wants to keep the status que. He feels threatened by changes and becomes conservative. It is the same in America.
In every era, there is a Generation Z. If you see the 2000’s elections, for example, you will see there was a Generation Z who was born in 1985. Or 1980 had its own Generation Z. That means that young people in America have always supported the Democratic Party because it promotes multiracialism, individual freedoms, women’s rights. Minority rights are important to them.
Democrats don’t have the conservative strictness. Young people are always in favor of the Democratic Party. If the elections are held ten years later, there will be a generation Z. Now, the word Generation Z is more popular, but, in fact, the youth, women, and the minorities, which today includes the gender, racial, and religious minorities, are on Democrats’ side. Supporters of the Republicans Party are usually middle age; they are wealthier, less educated, rural people, marginalized people in villages, those who pay attention to moral, family, and religious values.?
Q: Regarding the congressional elections, how do you see Democrats and Republicans’ status in the 2024 elections?
A: It is a bit early to talk about the 2024 elections. So far, the elections’ results show that the Republicans do not enjoy a good status in the American society, neither do the Democrats. This means that the victory is neither guaranteed for Democrats nor for Republicans. Biden is old, he has no charisma, and they have intra-party disagreements. The results of the elections do not convey this message that Biden will win the  elections. In addition, now there is intra-party disagreements within Republicans, between Trump’s supporters and those against him.
“It is unrealistic if one thinks that after the elections, the (nuclear) negotiations will resume, and America will fulfil its commitments.”This divides Republican Party into two groups. Pro-Trump Republicans did not achieve a decisive majority as expected. A number of candidates supported by Trump did not win the election. In Nevada, for example, the Republican candidate lost and the Senate went to the Democrats. And there is dissatisfaction with Trump within the party.
The governor of Florida Ron DeSantis is getting his chance. And if this situation continues and Trump insists to be in the elections, it will cause an internal split within the Republican Party which weakens the party’s position, and as a result, it will cause a split during primary elections. Like what happened to Democrats in 2016 in which supporters of Clinton and Sanders competed, and Trump took advantage of it. If this happens, it will be good for Biden and Democrats. But again, it is still too early to have a vision. In 2018, lots of evidence showed Donald Trump would win the 2020 elections, but the Covid 19 broke out unpredictably. We should wait to see who will be nominated. These are the parameters that need time.
Q: How can Republicans’ control of the House impact the JCPOA?
A: The Republicans are against Iran and JCPOA. They have announced that if they win, they will destroy any agreement that the Biden’s administration has made no matter what has been exchanged. Therefore, when one of the chambers of Congress goes to Republicans, the situation gets more complicated than what is now, but it does not make a fundamental change. Because there was no success in the JCPOA over the last 2 years that Democrats had both the White House and the House of Representatives. Therefore, the JCPOA and Iran and America’s relations are beyond factional changes both in America and in Iran. Mr. Rouhani’s government left and Mr. Raisi’s government came. The parliaments in Iran and America changed, but it did not make much difference. So, the elections will not result in any change. If Democrats had won the elections with a higher majority, the problem would have yet to be solved and the ongoing indecisiveness would have continued. It is unrealistic if one thinks that after the elections, the negotiations will resume, and America will fulfil its commitments.
Q: The last question, how do you evaluate the Biden administrations’ policy toward the JCPOA, the Ukraine war, and the Taiwan issue as the Republicans take the lead in the House of Representatives? Could a conclusion of the JCPOA strengthen Democrats’ hand in the elections?
A: We should keep in mind that this election was not a presidential election. The president is responsible to set policies with the help of his advisers. The government in America has not changed. If Republicans win one of the chambers of Congress, they can create obstacles for the administration’s foreign policy through budget approval.
They may set conditions, for example, in the case of Ukraine, to push government to change its policy. However, the U.S. government’s general approach towards Iran, Taiwan, and Russia will not undergo fundamental changes. Regarding the JCPOA, we should consider that foreign policy does not play a significant role in the American elections, especially for the issues that are not related to people’s daily life. That the U.S. reaches an agreement with Iran or not, the JCPOA is implemented or not, has no impact on the daily lives of the American people, therefore, they don’t care what happen to the JCPOA.
America’s foreign policy with China may be important for Asian American voters because things may get cheaper or more expensive, it may create employment or not. Iran and the JCPOA are important for some American elites but not for ordinary people. Therefore, if they had reached an agreement on the JCPOA, it would not have affected the elections.
- source : Tehrantimes