Trump election was the most important event in 1395: Shireen Hunter

March 19, 2017

TEHRAN - Shireen Tahmaasb Hunter, a professor of political science at Georgetown University, tells the Tehran Times that that “the most important event in the world” in the Iranian calendar year 1395, which ends on March 20, “was the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States."

Hunter, who was with the Iranian foreign service from 1965 to 1979 serving in London and Geneva, also enumarates the failed coup in Turkey, Brexit, and growing Chinese power as other most important developments in 1395.

Following is the text the interview:

Q: What was the most important event in the Iranian calendar year 1395?

A: The most important event in the world was the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. If Trump actually implements all of its declared foreign policy plans, it would lead to major transformation in the character of international relations as we have known since the end of World War Two. For instance the distancing of America from Europe could usher in the end of the West as we have known. The West will then have two centers, one in Europe and one in America. Such a development will inevitably create a more competitive international environment, but not necessarily to the West’s advantage.

In general, the world appears to be at the cusp of major systemic changes. The direction and outcome of these changes are not yet clear but change is definitely on the way.

Q: What was the most important episode in the Middle East?

A: The most important event in the Middle East was the aborted coup in Turkey, because it has accelerated the pace of Turkey’s move towards a more authoritarian system of government . In general, the coup has cast a shadow over Turkey’s future. As Turkey has become increasingly more active in the Middle East and more engaged in its various conflicts , its evolution will greatly impact broader Middle East developments either positively or negatively.

Q: What was the most important development in Europe?

A: The Brexit was the most significant event in Europe as it has brought into question the survival of the European Union as currently structured. After Britain’s exist becomes an accomplished fact, the EU will undergo some major changes, including possibly the creation of a “ Two Speed” integration process. This would mean some EU states will integrate more, while the others will form a sort of customs union.

Q: What was the most important event in Asia and why?

A: The most important development in Asia has been growing Chinese power and the country’s determination to flex its muscles in the South China Sea. This development has exacerbated tensions in East Asia and also added to American anxieties, thus raising the prospect of potential conflict in the region.

Q: And what was the most important event in America?

A: The most significant event in the Americas has been again Donald Trump’s election. If Trump carries out its policies, the whole pattern of U.S. relations with North and Central American countries will change. Such a change will have significant economic and political repercussions for states such as Mexico.

In general, the world appears to be at the cusp of major systemic changes. The direction and outcome of these changes are not yet clear but change is definitely on the way.

PA/PA

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