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The New Arab Staff

Iran's FM Zarif believes Trump is favourite to win US election despite declining support

Trump is gearing up for the election [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 June, 2020

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Iran's foreign minister has weighed in the upcoming US presidential election, where he predicts a Trump victory.
Donald Trump is set to be re-elected in the upcoming US presidential elections, Iran’s foreign minister predicted.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump still had a good chance of being re-elected due to a strong support base, despite declining support in past months.

“The biggest mistake in human sciences is to predict, especially in fluid and grave conditions. But allow me to venture a prediction that Mr Trump’s re-election chances are still more that 50 percent,” Zarif said in a live interview on Instagram with Iranian journalist Farid Modarresi.

This is the first interview of its kind with a senior official of Iran.

“Of course his chances have seriously decreased compared to four to five months ago,” Zarif went on to say.

“But Mr Trump has a 30-35 per cent base that has not moved and, as long as this base does not move, there is still a chance of his re-election.

Iran-US relations took a dive last year after Trump took Washington out of the nuclear deal brokered by predecessor Barack Obama, and reimposed crippling sanctions.

Iran responded by stripping back its nuclear commitments, ignoring a chorus of opposition from the United Nations and the international community at large.

The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency says Iran has continued to increase its stockpiles of enriched uranium and remains in violation of its deal with world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported the finding on Friday in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press.

The agency said that as of May 20, Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 1,571.6 kilograms (1.73 tons), up from 1,020.9 kilograms (1.1 tons) on Feb. 19.

Iran signed the nuclear deal in 2015 with the United States, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.

Known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, it allows Iran only to keep a stockpile of 202.8 kilograms (447 pounds).

The US pulled out of the deal unilaterally in 2018.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of 4.5 per cent, higher than the 3.67 per cent allowed under the JCPOA.

The nuclear deal promised Iran economic incentives in return for the curbs on its nuclear program.

Earlier this month Trump said Iranian leaders would be wrong if they expected his defeat in the November elections.

“Don’t wait until after U.S. Election to make the Big deal. I’m going to win. You’ll make a better deal now!,” Trump tweeted to Iran at the time.

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