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Europe cannot change Trump's foreign policy

A US political science professor told ILNA news agency that European states appear to have much less influence over US foreign policy in the Trump era.

Europe cannot change Trump's foreign policy

In an exclusive interview, political science professor at Louisville University Rodger A. Payne said "I am quite skeptical that they can convince the Trump administration to reverse course on its Iran policy. I hope I am wrong."

"Both the US and Iran have periodically escalated their hostile rhetoric and actions since the Trump administration pulled out of the JCPOA in May 2018,"he added.

"It would have been preferable for the administration to keep the US in the JCPOA and attempt to broaden the terms of negotiated agreement with Iran over an array of regional security issues. There are issues where Iran and the US share interests."

He added that both have reasons to favor political stability in Afghanistan. Each benefits when Persian Gulf oil is flowing regularly without threat.

Answering to question about President Trump's next steps, Payne confirmed "President Trump views himself as a dealmaker, who explains his willingness to negotiate with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. That has not worked out as Trump had hoped, but I think it shows his willingness to meet with states long viewed as American foes."

"Unless the impeachment proceedings cut short his administration, he will be up for re-election next November. Thus, domestic politics are going to play a role in his willingness to negotiate," US professor said.

"Trump is eagerly looking for successes that he can use to turn attention away from impeachment. That might make him amenable to a deal with Iran, but the administration is going to want a new nonproliferation deal to seem a bit more beneficial for the US and less beneficial for Iran."

Asked about does America's policy of Maximum Pressure can change the policies of the Iranian government, he said "It appears that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign has had the opposite of its intended effect – in terms of altering Iran’s behavior. However, it also appears the sanctions have hurt Iran and that this pain has contributed to recent internal unrest in Iran."

The political professor told ILNA that there would be no further war in the region and added but the ongoing conflict between the US and Iran makes war conceivable – perhaps sparked by accident, carelessness, or misperceptions.

"The negative consequences of a new war in the Middle East might not be felt in time for the next election cycle, but it would nonetheless be a very dangerous move for the President’s political career and for US security policy," Payne stressed.


Rodger A. Payne is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Louisville. Rodger researches multilateralism, global environmental politics, international security, and democratization of global politics.


JCPOA US sanctions Trump Administration Trump's foreign policy Rodger A. Payne
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