Trump presidency could pose immense risks for Zelensky and the Iranian leadership

American, Banana Republic, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Israel-Palestinian conflict

American presidential election is scheduled to take place on November 5 this year, although unlike previous elections, this time US election is not seen as significant by most of the countries in the world as American democracy now has become dirty with controversy, as the current Biden administration is making frantic bids of manipulating the elections results – while there also is anticipation of electoral fraud. Meanwhile, America being projected as a country of freedom of expression and rule of law is seen by a large proportion of its citizens as “Banana Republic” or “Third World” because of gross human rights violations and cases of gauging freedom of expression.

Despite such gloomy realities – there is clear speculation of Donald Trump winning a landslide against his rival – Joe Biden, because Biden already is known as a corrupt individual, whereas he also is considered to be unfit for the presidency due to cognitive decline. Under such circumstances, analysts are talking about the possible second Donald Trump’s presidency – particularly what it would mean for Europe, America’s proxy war in Ukraine, Israel-Palestinian conflict and China.

According to EuroNews, Donald Trump’s return could “leave Europe on its own”. Speaking at the first plenary session of the year in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, De Croo said “if 2024 brings us America First again, it will be more than ever Europe on its own”.

De Croo further said, “We should, as Europeans, not fear that prospect. We should embrace it by putting Europe on a more solid footing, stronger, more sovereign, more self-reliant”.

Mared Gwyn Jones wrote in the EuroNews, De Croo’s “stark warning came hours after Trump’s landslide victory in the Iowa caucus – a first decisive step towards becoming the 2024 Republican presidential candidate.

A Republican takeover in the US presidential elections in November – whether Trumpian or not – threatens to severely disrupt the West’s tightly aligned policy on Ukraine. The US is Kiev’s biggest donor of military and financial aid, but the support has been stalled due to calls from some leaders of the Republican party to scale back on payments.

De Croo, whose government holds the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, warned that Europe’s future hinges on the war in Ukraine.

“For America and for other allies, the support for Ukraine is a strategic question, it is a geopolitical consideration. For us Europeans. the support to Ukraine is existential”, De Croo told the parliament.

“It goes to the heart of our security and our prosperity”, he added.

In January 2024, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton revealed that while serving as US President in 2020, Trump told European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen that the US would not help Europe if it was attacked.

“You need to understand that if Europe is under attack we will never come to help you and to support you”, Trump said during the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, according to Breton, adding that “by the way, NATO is dead”.

This message from Donald Trump is loud and clear – proving, after the November 5 presidential election in the United States and Trump willing it, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky shall enter a nightmare era where he shall not get any financial or military support from the US. And, without America’s financial and military aid, European nations, including the United Kingdom cannot not bear the burden of burning billions of taxpayer’s cash into Joe Biden’s proxy war in Ukraine. Meaning, recently approved US$60 billion is the last stake of financial and military aid Zelensky is getting, although according to experts, this amount may not reach him even within the next several months.

Meanwhile, in my opinion, instead of fueling Biden’s proxy war in Ukraine, Donald Trump shall exert massive pressure on Zelensky in reaching into a peace deal with Russia and if Volodymyr Zelensky will disobey Trump’s decision – Washington may use alternative method in taming Zelensky. At the same time, Donald Trump may initiate an extensive audit of the cash and military hardware that the Biden administration has already sent to Kiev.

According to media reports, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has asked Volodymyr Zelensky to refrain from rampant stealing of foreign aid. In April 2023, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report that alleged the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was aware of widespread corruption in Ukraine and the embezzlement of US aid.

The report said the Ukrainian government has been using US taxpayer money to purchase diesel from Russia to fuel its military. The report further suggested that Ukrainian officials are also “competing” to set up front companies for export contracts to private arms dealers around the world.

The issue of corruption was raised during a meeting between CIA Director William Burns and Zelensky in January 2023. An intelligence official with direct knowledge of the meeting told Hersh that Burns delivered a stunning message to Zelensky.

Hersh wrote: “The senior generals and government officials in Kiev were angry at what they saw as Zelensky’s greed, so Burns told the Ukrainian president, because he was taking a larger share of the skim money than was going to the generals’”.

Seymour Harsh said, Burns also presented Zelensky with a list of thirty-five generals and senior officials whose corruption was known to the CIA and others in the American government. Zelensky responded to the American pressure ten days later by publicly dismissing ten of the most ostentatious officials on the list and doing little else.

Meanwhile, according to analysts, another Trump presidency could pose immense risks for the Iranian leadership, especially given the recent tit-for-tat strikes with Israel, the looming threat of a wider Middle East war, and other significant internal challenges.

Under such conditions, there are three ways a new Trump administration might pose a threat to the clerical establishment: a potential economic shock, bolder military action against the regime and increased protest movements.

In 2018, Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and imposed crippling sanctions on the country as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign on the Iranian government.

Iran’s then-vice president, Eshagh Jahangiri, described the subsequent year as the “toughest” since the Islamic Republic’s inception. Trump’s campaign reduced Iran’s oil exports to a historic low of under 400,000 barrels per day, significantly slashing the country’s petrodollars, which represent about 70 percent of government revenues. Moreover, between 2018 and 2020, Iran’s national currency depreciated by more than 600 percent.

It may be mentioned here that Joe Biden has been showing reluctant policy towards Iran, which enabled Tehran to increase its oil exports. According to the Financial Times, during Biden’s presidency, Iran’s oil exports have reached a six-year high of around 1.56 million barrels per day in the first three month of 2024. Republicans in the US blame the Biden administration for not enforcing sanctions against Iran, while the White House insists they are.

With Iran’s economy still weakened, Trump’s potential return could be a real nightmare for Tehran as there would be a wave of new pressures. According to Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, a Trump return will cause Iran’s oil exports to “suffer again”, thus putting the country under acute financial crisis.

Meanwhile, admitting the current budget deficit of US$3.7 billion, Iran’s Parliament Research Centre said, Trump’s return would necessitate being ready for “increased sanctions pressure and an economic shock”.

Prominent economic expert on Iran affairs, Morteza Afghe came up with a more dire note stating Iran’s economy may face collapse with Donald Trump winning the November 5 election. Afghe believes, due to Iran’s more strident anti-Western policies under President Ebrahim Raisi and the dominance of radical factions in parliament, Trump would be even more determined to escalate his “maximum pressure” campaign on the country.

Meanwhile, Iranian media outlets have suggested the rise of unpopular, ultraconservative political figures could further deepen public dissatisfaction with the regime. In such conditions, possible economic repercussions from a second Trump presidency could fuel a new wave of nationwide protests in the country. It may even result in the collapse of the clerical regime. Analysts are saying, if Donald Trump wins election on November 5, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei would be about 86 years old when he took office. A transfer of power in Iran during a Trump presidency could bring even more uncertainty at a very critical time in Iranian politics.


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