Is a big problem in NITC

Iran with no great expectations of the US election

Shortly before the presidential elections, the government in Washington is increasing its pressure on Iran with new sanctions. According to a statement from the US Treasury Department last Monday (October 26, 2020), the Iranian oil ministry, the state oil company NIOC and the state tanker shipping company NITC as well as several people with connections to these institutions would be placed on the sanctions list.

The ministry had added five other Iranian organizations to its sanctions list three days earlier, including two media organizations. These include the Bayan Rasaneh Gostar Institute, a front company of the Al-Kuds Brigades, the foreign units of the Revolutionary Guard, for the US Treasury. Bayan Rasaneh Gostar is said to have played a leading role in attempts to influence the US presidential election. Employees of the institute wanted to instrumentalize controversial topics such as how to deal with the corona pandemic in order to cast certain politicians in a bad light. Tehran rejects the allegations. An Iranian Foreign Office spokesman spoke of "inventions" and "clumsy" accusations. He reiterated that Iran does not favor any candidate in the US presidential election.

The Treasury Department in Washington put other Iranian institutions on the sanction list

Everything was completely different four years ago

Iran's media do indeed abuse both candidates, but incumbent Donald Trump has been particularly harshly attacked. It was different four years ago. The Iranian media followed the US presidential elections almost euphorically and relied on the "businessman" Donald Trump. The US needs someone to tell "the truth about the corrupt elite" in Washington, was heard from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei and a number of conservative politicians like Parliament Vice-President Ali Motahari believed four years ago that businessman Donald Trump would keep his campaign promises and pull the US out of the Middle East, including distancing himself from Iran's strategic rival Saudi Arabia. His opponent Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, was perceived as friendly towards Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states in the Persian Gulf. Trump's threat to withdraw from the international agreement with Iran in order to achieve a "better" agreement was apparently not taken seriously by Khamenei and his circles at the time.

(Archive) Protests in Iran against "businessman" and US President Trump

"USA will go under"

"The murderer of General Kassem Soleiman and criminal against the Iranian nation is supposed to go to hell," wrote Hossein Shariatmadari in an editorial in the hardline newspaper "Kayhan" in mid-October. Shariatmadari is the editor-in-chief of the state-funded daily newspaper, which is considered the mouthpiece of the religious leader. At the same time he is a member of the paramilitary Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Kassem Soleimani was the commander of the Al-Kuds unit of the Revolutionary Guard, which was responsible for foreign missions. He was killed by a US drone in Iraq in January 2020. "The USA is afraid of us and knows that we will take revenge. Sooner or later this country will go under," the editor-in-chief, appointed directly by Khamenei, prophesies in his editorial.

Shariatmadari is one of the sharpest critics of Iranian President Hassan Rohani, who is under enormous pressure because of the US sanctions and the corona pandemic. Critics accuse Rouhani of having no concept for overcoming the crisis and only waiting for the result of the US elections. After all, Joe Biden had announced that he would bring the United States back into the nuclear deal with Iran if Tehran ended its violations of the treaty.

Iran doubts that if Biden wins the election, it will lift the sanctions

New problems with Biden

Iranian media and politicians doubt, however, that if Biden wins the election, the US sanctions against Iran will be lifted. The news portal "Bashgah Khabarnegaran Javan" (The Young Journalists Club - YJC) refers to statements made by Antony John Blinken, one of Joe Biden's foreign policy advisors. Blinken said in June that the US sanctions offered an opportunity to get further concessions from Iran.

"No matter who wins the elections in the US, he will only want to harm us," the Iranian media quoted President Mohammed Bagher Ghalibaf as saying at the end of September. "With Joe Biden, things can get a lot more difficult," said an article last Monday in the Shargh newspaper, the largest newspaper in the reform camp. In the article, "Sharg" reported on a meeting of the reform-oriented party "Participation Front of Islamic Iran".

Former MP and General Secretary of the party, Mohsen Mirdamadi, assumes that Biden will return to the nuclear deal. But then Biden will form an alliance against Iran in close cooperation with the Europeans. It will take up other issues such as the Iranian missile program and Iran's influence in the Middle East and try to force Iran to make further concessions. "If Biden wins, we will breathe a sigh of relief, but only for a short time," said Mirdamadi.