July 28, 2016

What Will the 2016 Election Mean for Iran?

This month marks the one-year anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal signing. However, the future of the deal remains uncertain as the two contending US presidential candidates have expressed diverging views on Iran. What would a victory by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton mean for the future of the Iran deal? Weighing in are career ambassadors Thomas Pickering and James F. Jeffrey who spoke at the Council's June 27 event, "The Iran Deal: A Reassessment.


Thomas Pickering, former US Ambassador to Israel, Russia, and the United Nations

On Donald Trump:
"I think that if Donald Trump becomes president, he's said he'll tear up the agreement or renegotiate it. I think the basis for renegotiating it, he'll be off alone. Just with that famous Donald Trump smile and persuasion. And I think that's highly unlikely to happen, but it would certainly sour relationships—maybe end the agreement—if he really thought he was going to go ahead and do that. And I think that would obviously not be useful."

On Hillary Clinton:
"I think that Secretary Clinton has been tough on Iran and I think will continue to play a strong role, if she gets elected, in dealing with Iran. But I think that one could look forward to the possibilities, particularly if contrary to expectations, what one would call the internationalists in Iran—the Rouhani-Zarif led faction—continues to be there. There will be opportunities."

James F. Jeffrey, former US Ambassador to Albania, Iraq, and Turkey

On Donald Trump:
"I don't think I can comment on what Donald Trump would do in that or any other situation."

On Hillary Clinton:
"As I've worked for Secretary Clinton and as her views and her actions are part of the public record—I think that as Tom said, you would get a foreign policy approach in general and specifically towards Iran, that would be within the framework of what we've had in the last eight years—with a little bit more of the first Clinton administration's somewhat tougher, somewhat more skeptical view. Less transcendental."


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