Since his election in 2016, U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear agreement signed in 2015 by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and imposed tough sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. How might the relationship between Washington and Tehran change after the U.S. election on November 3?2020 began with the United States and Iran on the verge of war. The U.S. targeted killing of revered Iranian General Qassem Soleimani January 3 – whom Washington accused of masterminding numerous attacks in the region – sparked fury in Tehran.It retaliated with missile strikes on U.S. bases in Iraq. No U.S. service personnel were killed and conflict was averted, but Trump kept up the pressure. “The United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Trump told a press conference January 8, the day after the Iranian missile strikes.FILE- U.S. Soldiers stand near the site of Iranian bombing at Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar, Iraq, Jan. 13, 2020.He also urged other signatories to follow America’s lead, using the abbreviation for the nuclear agreement’s formal title, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality. They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal — or JCPOA — and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.” changed quote slightly, adding dashes, on the basis of the FILE – Pharmacists pick medicine from shelves in a drugstore in downtown Tehran, Iran, June 19, 2019. From imported chemo and other medicines to those made domestically, many Iranians blame shortages on U.S. sanctions.Moret said the wide-ranging sanctions have had a marked effect on Iran’s economy.“Many public and private sector companies around the world are simply too afraid to engage with a country like Iran. We saw this for example when some of the sanctions were lifted under the JCPOA. It was still very hard to persuade European and other companies to reinvest in Iran. And it’s made even worse at the moment with the COVID-19 pandemic of course,” Moret told VOA.Trump’s rival in the presidential campaign, Joe Biden, has said he would seek to re-join the Iran nuclear deal but would impose targeted sanctions over human rights abuses, terrorism and Iran’s ballistic missile program.A missile is launched during a military drill, with the participation of Iran’s Air Defense units, Oct. 20, 2020. (West Asia News Agency)However, Tehran may not trust the West after Trump’s pull-out from the 2015 deal, security analyst Julie Norman said.“America’s credibility in terms of this treaty and agreements more generally is rather in question,” she told VOA. “And we assume that Iran would at least initially probably push back, try and work whatever leverage they have. With that said, Iran really is in a difficult point right now. They really do need whatever kind of reengagement assistance can be forthcoming.”A United Nations arms embargo against Iran ended last month despite U.S. efforts to extend it. The expiration of the embargo was part of the JCPOA. Washington has threatened sanctions on any country selling arms to Tehran.Meanwhile, Iran is due to hold presidential elections early next year amid concerns that hardliners in the regime could win power. Analysts say that leaves a short window to reset relations with Tehran’s current leaders if a new U.S. administration chose to do so. 

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