Obama's foreign policy doctrine, like Carter, is based on "containing Iran". R. Nicholas Burns, the undersecretary of state who led the Iran diplomatic effort for the younger Mr. Bush at 2005/2008 said that: The United States must do whatever it takes to thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and its determination to become the dominant military power in the region. We should thus marshal our diplomatic, economic and military strength to block Iran now and to contain its power in the region in the years ahead and the smarter and more effective strategy at this point is to coerce them through negotiations.
So Democrats believed that Iran's power in the region must be contained. The security guarantees that Obama give the allies in the region Camp David meeting on 23 indicate the restriction of Iran power is the main Obama's foreign policy strategy. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, at a press conference on September 2, 2015 said that: President implied that America is committed to the security of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries and try to restrict Iran's behaviors in the region.
A glance at US strategies to contain Iran power
US strategy for restriction the power of Iran:
1. Conventional and unconventional deterrence strategy against Iran
2. "SHAMING" Strategy
3. "Common interests" Strategy
4. "Solving the Palestinian problems"
5. "Maintaining sanctions framework" Strategy
Conventional and unconventional deterrence strategy against Iran
America posed strategic deterrence doctrine against Iran. In Obama administration, Document called "review of nuclear arrangement", which is a national security document, was developed. This Document speaks about Conventional and unconventional deterrence strategy against Iran. Since Carter that "the effort to control the Persian Gulf as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America and was responded with military force" to The "doctrine of strategic consensus" Reagan that "the situation in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf as part of a strategic political nature were examined, the region has been considered as a security elements that surrounded by Turkey, Pakistan and the Horn of Africa, and balance of power should be established in this part of the world ." All of this strategy shows that Americans did not abandon deterrence against Iran.
In line with that strategy in an interview with New York Times explain that: Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us. ... You asked about an Obama doctrine. The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities… Iran may change. If it doesn’t, our deterrence capabilities, our military superiority stays in place. ... We’re not relinquishing our capacity to defend ourselves or our allies. In that situation, why wouldn’t we test it? ”
In response to the questions from leaders of the Jewish in August 28, 2015, Obama said we need to deter Iran's destabilize activities in different parts of the region with helping our Allies. And for this purpose we would need to have better cooperation and information sharing with partners and we must protect people from Missiles attack by building things like Iron Dome.
The deterrence strategy is evident in Obama's letter to Jerrold Nadler as he wrote: as I have underscored repeatedly, it is imperative that, even as we effectively cut off Iran's pathway to a nuclear through implementation of JCPOA, we take steps to ensure we and our allies and partner are more capable than ever to deal with Iran's destabilizing activities and support for terrorism. This involves deepened cooperation and information sharing with Israel and Persian Gulf Cooperation Council partner, it is also involves continued enforcement of international and US law, including sanction related to Iran's Non-nuclear activated.
In addition to the two mentioned doctrines, the Obama administration considered strategies to achieve its goals. Unwritten policy named "ashamed actor" is one of the strategies by which Iran's behavior domestically, regionally and internationally shows that Iran in the region and international, actions and measures is "ashamed" to this topic gradually and leading Iran to "change its behavior". For example, in the domestic arena it is accused to "violations of human rights and freedom of expression", "being non-democratic”, "being ideological" and etc. In the regional sphere accused of "interference in the internal affairs of other countries", "misbalancing regional security", "destabilizing the region", "part of the problem" and etc. At the same time, try to be saying it if these approaches would be reviewed by Iran, Iranian exit from "isolation mode" and return to the fold of the international community. The thing that a few days after the conclusion of Vienna convention, provokes the strict answer of revolution’s leader in Fetr Eve: "if does this text to be approved or not, by willing God, we will not allow any abuse of it. "We will not allow to undermine the fundamental principles of the Islamic system to someone ... whether the text will be adopted or not, that will not stop us from supporting our friends in the region."
"Common interests” Strategy
Iran's and America's interests in West Asia have a 180 degrees difference. The phrase of facing each other even is not means "competitive", but it is beyond that, i.e. a "conflict" for any side. This conflict of interest, not only is in terms of identity and ideology (which is not discussed here), but is rooted in the national interest of both sides in the region. Basically America security system in the region is in contrast to Iran system's security in the region.
For example, the West and particularly the US authorities are trying to instill that Iran and the West have common interests on some regional issues such as anti-Islamic, common interests. Something stated unfortunately by the media some and others in the country. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, in a press conference in Berlin on Monday 9 Shahrivar (31 August), welcomed Iran's participation in the Anti-ISIS coalition and fight against the terrorist group, she said: "I think Iran has influence in what happening in Syria, and all welcome Iran constructive engagement in Syria talks."8 US secretary of state John Kerry also said that "I will talk with Lavrov to see how Iranians are prepared to play a role in the story of Isis", He continued that "We want to engage the Saudis and Turks draw and ultimately wan to see what Iranians are prepared to perform in Syria."9 He pointed out Iran's role as planned.
Although the aim of this strategy in the long run is "normalization of relations" in other arenas, but it is clear that it is not logically correct. Iran and US common interests are not the same even in case of ISIS. Part of the reason of this issue is rooted US approach to interest in terrorism. US is not only dissatisfied for the presence of terrorism in the region to want abolish the coalition with another country, but it is generating and supporting terrorist groups in the region. If it is based on the elimination of terrorist groups, US already used of such a coalition (according to its interpretation, international and multilateral) and it was not need to takes advantage of new alliances and cooperation. With considering These US interests, the debate over the notion of Iran as "Region’s good boy" and "regional gendarme", is baseless and as a group to "solve issues in West Asia and North Africa as necessary for pushing US policies toward East Asia, known as Asia-Pacific "or "eliminating China-Iran-Russia potential axis against Western-oriented" and etc. to achieve that they need to "normalize relations with Iran", in fact does not exist in regional affairs reality.
"Solving the Palestinian problems"
Americans are trying seriously to introduce nuclear accord with Iran as the security booster for Israel. A sign of that is Al-Monitor quoting from one of the officials of US department of state "We're going to put pressure on Iran so that they stop spreading chaos in the region through supporting Hezbollah and Hamas.
Angela Merkel also said "the tone of Iran towards Israel is unacceptable. Iran has not changed its tone and position against Israel and doesn’t recognize it which is very disappointing.
However this agreement by itself cannot guarantee the security of Zionist regime in reality so Americans are trying to oblige Iran to normalize its relations with Israel through following an unwritten strategy of shaming it.
This is clearly evident in statements by Western officials, especially Americans. In an interview with Mick website Obama said "A transition process is needed in Iran even if it occurs gradually. In this process Iranian leaders should come to realize that "Death to America" slogan, denial of Holocaust, threatening Israel to wipe it off the map, military support of Hezbollah (among terrorist organizations list) and stuff like this make Iran a rejected country in the eyes of global majority.
Approach of maintaining sanctions framework
Aside from aforementioned issues and as the last point, it can also be noted that the general policy of the United States is to maintain the sanctions framework. This can be fulfilled either through "false perceptions and interpretations, "of the text of JCPOA or generalizing of sanctions to other issues such as human rights violations and regional policies of Iran regarding the support of "Resistance Axis”. That is why Barack Obama explicitly noted, immediately following the conclusion of negotiations on 14 July, which "sanctions related to Iran's support of terrorism, violations of human rights and ballistic missiles program will be maintained
Jacob Lew, America's Treasury Secretary, also suggests that "maintaining architecture of sanctions while providing minor relief through sanctions exemption strengthens our second condition, that is, the ability to reverse sanctions if Iran doesn’t comply with its obligations. Chris Beck Meyer, deputy coordinator of the sanctions policy in Department of State and adviser to John Kerry said: "nuclear deal will not relieve all sanctions against Iran. There are sanctions imposed due to Iran's support for terrorism which remain in force. Sanctions related to human rights violation will still remain. There are sanctions on Iran's support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, and these sanctions also remain in force. Thus we see that many of these sanctions will still remain. "
However, it seems that the "battle of interpretation" for the JCPOA has started and victory belongs to the one who can convince the other side to accept his narrative and interpretation. For this reason, the supreme leader demanded that the nuclear officials explicitly respond to the other side's words. He said "if the sanctions are not lifted then there is no deal, this makes no sense at all. They should state it clearly and drop the excuse that they do that in order to convince their domestic rivals. For sure, the conflict which is in America on the nuclear agreement is a real one. I do not believe that the conflict is superficial. There is a real discord about it. The origin of their opposing ideas is clear for us but what is officially said should be responded otherwise it will be stabilized."