Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a Middle East security and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton University who is a former spokesman for Iran in its nuclear negotiations with the West, said it was inevitable that Iranians would lose trust in the U.S. because of Trump’s decision to violate the agreement.
He predicted that the country would no longer be prepared to “engage with the U.S. to negotiate on other disputed issues like weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and the regional conflicts.”
Mousavian also suggested that Iran is now likely to turn its back on the West and instead build closer diplomatic and trade ties with Russia and China.
Dr. Mohammed Marandi, a professor at Tehran University and a political analyst, agreed.
“No group, no political faction that once said we should talk to America holds that position anymore, as a result it strengthens the argument that Iran should move closer to Russia and China,” he said.
Marandi said there had been a huge rise in the number of Iranian students and business owners going to China, accompanied by an increasing number of direct flights between the two countries in recent years. More Mandarin language courses have also become available in the country, including a degree program at the University of Tehran.
Marandi said Trump’s withdrawal from the pact leaves America being seen as “dishonest and unreliable, and unwilling to abide by its own commitments.”
A telephone survey of 1,003 Iranians conducted in April by IranPoll, a Toronto-based firm, found 67 percent of respondents felt the country should “retaliate” if the U.S. violated the nuclear deal. The survey had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
Iranian lawmakers set fire to a paper U.S. flag in the Parliament Wednesday, while shouting “Death to America!” They also burned a piece of paper representing the nuclear deal and stomped on the papers’ ashes.