MOHAMMAD MARANDI: I think the objective -- one of the objectives of the Trump administration -- is to sideline Iran, to put so much pressure on Iran so that Iran discontinues its support for the Palestinian people. The Iranian position, of course, on Israel is that Israel, like apartheid South Africa, is an apartheid regime and that it is morally illegitimate and that it has to change fundamentally, like South Africa, until Iran recognizes such a state. In other words, Palestinians have to have equal rights and self-determination throughout the land. But the United States, because of Iran's support for the Palestinian cause, wants to sideline Iran, to weaken Iran so much, or, as the esteemed professor points out, perhaps even further -- the United States wants to go further than that and destroy Iran. But they are doing this, or they want to do this, basically to strengthen the hand of the Israeli regime and allow them to finish off the whole issue of Palestine. Of course, I don't think that is possible. I don't think it's going to happen. The "deal of the century," I think, is going to fail.
But also, I'd like to point one other thing out. And that is, if indeed a military conflict is inevitable between the United States and Iran, I think there are two important things that have to be kept in mind. First, if there is a war, then, in my opinion, all of the oil and gas facilities, as well as the tankers in the Persian Gulf region, will be destroyed. This will not be just the issue of closing the Strait of Hormuz. This will be something very long-term. And that will lead to a global economic catastrophe unlike anything we've seen in contemporary history. In addition to that, Iranian allies across the region will engage U.S. forces and U.S. allies militarily, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. And then you would have the Saudi and Emirati regimes collapse immediately, because they're completely dependent on oil. And millions of people will be on the move. So, that's a scenario that is just something that people should not even contemplate.
The second is that the United States may carry out a small strike. Here, I think, is almost equally dangerous, because I think that there are some so-called Iran experts in the United States that are telling the U.S. government that if you carry out a limited strike, Iran will do nothing in response, or there will be just some token response. That is a major miscalculation. The Iranians will be relentless in their response. They will probably be very disproportionate, as well. And they will also strike those regional countries that are allowing -- that would allow the Americans to attack. And the reason why the Iranians would respond so severely is that they want to make sure that the United States does not come to any conclusion that they could repeatedly attack Iran. And this, of course, could lead to further and further escalation. So, it would be against the interests of the whole of the international community, as well as the people of the United States, to even contemplate any strike, even limited.
AMY GOODMAN: And, Mohammad Marandi, we just have 20 seconds with you left in Tehran. The effects of the sanctions on the ground in Iran?
MOHAMMAD MARANDI: Well, the U.S. government is trying to make people suffer. And people have died. Certain medicines are not available. The U.S. government is trying to prevent Iran from importing medicine, among other things. And so sometimes some medicines are not available. And for people who have serious issues, they could die. And many people have died as a result over the past few months.
AMY GOODMAN: And finally, Ervand Abrahamian, the U.S. media coverage, so often the media used to beat the drums for war, your analysis of it?
ERVAND ABRAHAMIAN: Well, I think -- I'm not expert on the media, but The New York Times, so far, has been actually much more cautious as compared to in the Iraqi situation. I would imagine the other press, you know, Fox News and stuff, basically repeats the official line about Iran as being the cause of all the problems the U.S. has. But on the whole, I would say the quality of press has been quite down-to-earth with it.
AMY GOODMAN: And, of course, we will continue to cover this. Ervand Abrahamian, retired professor at the City University of New York, speaking to us here in New York. And Mohammad Marandi, professor of English literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, part of the nuclear deal negotiations in 2015, speaking to us from Iran.
This is Democracy Now! When we come back, the Guatemalan elections. Stay with us.
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