John Kerry, a neutral choice for Iran-US relations

jaan keryIranian expert on US affairs rejected John Kerry stances regarding Iran to be approved by all US officials and that it will have no effect on the country’s foreign policy in regards to its ties with Iran saying,” We cannot expect the change of a foreign minister to bring fundamental changes in the US foreign policy especially when Barak Obama is still in the White House and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are both democrat.
Amir Ali Abolfat’h, Iranian senior expert on the US affairs in an exclusive interview with Taqrib News Agency (TNA) related on the impacts of John Kerry appointment as the new Secretary of State and the possible changes in the relations of the country with Iran, Syria and Russia.

Q: Regarding the background of John Kerry in US foreign policy, to what extent will his substitution for Hillary Clinton affect the solution of present crises of the US in its relations with Iran, Syria and Russia?

A: The system in the US foreign policy is solidified to the point that the appointment of new officials would not show an immediate effect. This is the very issue that is true even about election and emergence of US presidents let alone a change in the country’s foreign ministry.

For instance George W Bush, former US president, carried out the launch of missile systems in Russia borders. Election of Obama in 2008 and particular policies of the democrats expected to resume US-Russia relations by lifting the missile system. Although the democrat president of the US stressed the resumption of ties with Russia to the point that Hillary Clinton, in a meeting with Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, gave him a mock reset button before both sides press the button in a symbolic move to reset the Washington-Moscow ties.

Eventually the plan for launching a missile system on Russian borders remained unchanged. It was only transferred to Bulgaria from the Czech Republic.

Therefore one cannot expect basic changes particularly when Obama is still in the White House and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are both democrats.

Q: Based on claims of the US officials and anti-Iran policies of the country, a majority of analysts believe that US will follow military strategies. Then why should Obama appoint someone whose main strategy is talks with Iran rather than a warmongering policy?

A: Certainly the stances of John Kerry will not draw the unanimous approval from American officials and consequently will not change the policies.

US Foreign Ministry executes the decisions of the president and the Ministry of Defense; therefore, any decision regarding relations with Iran or any change in the relations with Russia and Syria has to be approved by other senior officials, meaning the president or the defense minister.

It is also noteworthy that Obama has chosen his Secretary of States in regards to the general changes of the world and not the crisis in a certain country.

Of course the first option of Obama was Susan Rice who was opposed by the Republicans. At the moment John Kerry has a great influence in the US Senate and the Republican senators. That is why he stands a great chance to be elected for the Congress. On the other hand Obama introduced John Kerry to the Senate because he did not want to face another rejection after his former option, Susan Rice, had been refuted.

Q: What is your view on John Kerry’s tendency to travel to Tehran and his stressing that “The US does not pursue a regime change in Iran”?

A: I am not sure if John Kerry had mentioned that after his appointment as the Secretary of States because we have seen many cases of officials who do not follow the stances they had promised before their appointment.

To what extent John Kerry will approve anti-Iran sanctions of the Senate remains to be seen. Once he is against anti-Iran boycotts, then we can be hopeful towards his future policies regarding Iran.

Q: What is your view on the future policies of John Kerry, as the US Secretary of States, regarding Iran, Syria and Russia?

A: It is not time to express any view on that though, in my idea, the general policies of the American officials will remain unchanged.

Of course waging war against a country is not always known by the roars of heavy artillery. Different forms of soft war, economic, social and cultural warfare or even supporting the opposition forces of a regime are other ways of warfare; therefore, at the moment Iran and the US are in the phase of diplomatic talks and soft war.

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