Trump and the Mullahs, reality check

Will Trump be the first US president to really stand up to the Mullahs and not back down?

Amil Imani, | updated: 07:16

OpEds Amil Imani
Amil Imani
צילום: Amil Imani
If I were the National Security advisor to President Trump, I would ask him to stand tough with the Mullahs.

President Trump seems to believe that he is dealing with a group of rational pragmatic people like others he has dealt with in the business world. A sort of give and take type of people who can find middle ground on any deal. The Mullahs are hardly the type. They are religious fanatics to their very core who are driven — now that they are in power and sit on a sea of black gold — by their deadly messianic dream to rule the world by whatever means, piecemeal or whole, intact or in shambles. Preferably in shambles so that their long-awaited and prayed-for Saheb-u-zaman (their messiah)— from his hiding place and returns and set the world straight in accordance with the idealized Shia Islamic vision.

The Mullahs had a choice: either die slowly with the U.S. sanctions that not only prevented selling oil, but also shut down their ability to deal in international banking, or playing hardball with Trump. In a way, they decided to take a chance and go down fighting, if it is necessary.
The Mullahs figured, Trump is more bluster than fight, as they believed was evident from his inaction when they shot down an American drone in international airspace. Teddy Roosevelt advised: speak softly but carry a big stick. The Mullahs see President Trump speaking loudly while carrying no stick at all. The only way to gain respect in the Muslim world is by sowing fear.

They also figured that re-election coming up would make Trump most hesitant to unleash his military on them. Furthermore, and the best scenario for them, Trump might get bounced and the Democrats would surely again come around and be nice to them.

Now, they have called their opponents’ bluff and from their point of view, with great success. They have made their point: they have said time and again, if we can’t sell our oil, then we will not let anybody else sell their oil through the Gulf.

Saudis making money hand over fist selling oil while the Mullahs are starving? No, that’s not very nice. They decided they would do something about that. Knowing full well that those Saudi boys have no stomach at all for entangling with Iran militarily.

Now what? Simple - to their minds. This time Trump lost. Next, Trump will relax the sanctions, will even look the other way for the Mullahs to sell some oil, access to the international financial system will also quietly work out and a covert “diplomacy” dance will continue.

The result, if that oocurs, is a huge victory for the Mullahs and a new long term lease on life. 

I certainly hope I’m wrong as I see. it, but this has been the case for the past 40 years of US Presidents. Perhaps Trump, who seems to have the guts that they lacked, will change that. It is the world's only hope.