Will Joe Biden’s presidency reduce tensions between Iran and the US, bringing positive change to the people of Iran?

The rise and fall of the Iran-US relations may go back to the early 1900s starting with the tensions over British influence and Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (known as BP these days) which resulted in the overturning of the first democratically-elected government of Iran. Over the past 5 decades, each of the two countries have done cruel things to one another. After Iran’s revolution in 1979, a hostage-taking incident took place at the US embassy in Tehran. 52 Americans were held captive by a group of militarized Iranian college students for 444 days, making this a significant moment in history for the relations between the two countries. Shooting an Iranian passenger airplane over the Persian Gulf in 1988, imposing sanctions on Iran’s oil and exports are some other scenarios where the US has shown hostility towards Iran. 

Every US President has taken a different approach towards the Iranian people. Under Reagan’s administration in the 1980s, the US backed Iraq in its invasion of Iran. Contrastingly, President Obama signed a nuclear deal with Iran, which boosted the country’s economy. As soon as President Trump came to power, he opposed the Iran nuclear deal, calling it a “horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made”. He imposed a series of sweeping new sanctions on the country.

Now that Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th president of the United States, the people of Iran are very hopeful that he will continue on the same path that President Obama took. Biden declared that during his first few weeks in office, he will reverse all of the Executive orders signed by Donald Trump in the past 4 years, this includes the sanctions that made it extremely challenging for Iranians to enter the United States, for studying purposes and for visiting family and relatives. 

Biden also stated that he will join back to all the international agreements and treaties that Donald Trump withdrew the US from, including the Iran nuclear deal. If this happens, Iran will be able to sell its oil and start foreign transitions, which consequently will lead the economy to bloom. Iran is facing a major economic crackdown with a massive inflation rate that has exacerbated over the past couple of years due to US sanctions. Iran’s currency, Rial, has been devalued by over 300%, bringing a lot of suffering to the most vulnerable who are no longer able to afford basic necessities.

Some Iranians believed that if President Trump was re-elected, he would have been able to increase the pressure on the administration and force the regime to change. This could have eventually brought more democratic rulers to power, leading to people’s freedom and betterment. To the contrary, President Biden does not seem to have a regime change on his bucket list.

I believe that during his presidency Joe Biden will take more positive actions that will, to a great extent, outweigh his potential negative moves in the interest of the people of Iran. This will hopefully lead to the improvement of living conditions for not only those living in Iran but also for many others across the globe.

– Neeka Setayesh 

Sources:

Maysam Behravesh, Erwin van Veen. “What Iran’s Leaders Really Think About Biden.” Foreign Policy, 1 Dec. 2020, foreignpolicy.com/2020/12/01/what-irans-leaders-really-think-about-biden/. 

“The US-Iran Conflict: A Timeline of How We Got Here.” CNN, Cable News Network, edition.cnn.com/interactive/2020/01/world/us-iran-conflict-timeline-trnd/. 

“Iran Hostage Crisis.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Dec. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_hostage_crisis. 

“The US-Iran Conflict: A Timeline of How We Got Here.” CNN, Cable News Network, edition.cnn.com/interactive/2020/01/world/us-iran-conflict-timeline-trnd/. 

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