Avril Haines declassified intelligence reports implicate Iran and Russia as the main foreign actors trying to influence the U.S. 2020 Presidential Election without providing any tangible evidence.
It is the beginning of a new year for Iranians, Afghans, Kurds and many other nations around the world. People there are celebrating it with brim eyes and beating hearts, hopeful that perhaps with rejuvenation of nature comes the opportunity for readjustment and revival. Unfortunately like any other transaction, there are two sides to every story and no matter how hard one side might try, there would be resolution unless the other guy puts some real effort into motion.
Last Tuesday U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) published their reports concerning the foreign interference in the U.S. 2020 Presidential Election and as expected Americans once again came up with two names: Russian Federation and Islamic Republic of Iran. Avril Haines, Biden’s pick for the Director of National Intelligence, supposedly declassified these information after due consideration, implicating Russia, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and even Hezbollah for their attempts to curry favour with the Trump’s administration. Interestingly enough, in Haines’ report there has been no mention of the People Republic of China (PRC), the only country with the motive and the infrastructure to launch a cyberattack against the states.
According to these reports, neither of the two chief players had the capacity to alter the technicalities of the 2020 U.S. Election process, yet they were highly influential in swaying the voters toward their own preferred pick using their vast network of fake social media accounts that prompted fear and uncertainties in digital communities that virtually identified themselves as either liberals or Democrats. Although this “solid” intelligence was supposedly verified by the agencies of highest order, numerous discrepancies found in Haines’ report has cast a long shadow of doubt over the sincerity of the intel.
For starters, there is a vast difference between Russia and Iran’s preference when it comes down to the pick for the next American president. There’s little to no doubt that the Russians would have preferred Trump over Biden. Trumps have always had an amicable relationship with the Russians. Their assets and properties associated with Russia are considerable and if you ever had any doubt about it you should take a look at the picture of Trump and Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. Iran on the other hand had every reason to want Trump’s downfall. Pulling out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Assassinating Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and imposing the so-called “maximum pressure policy” are just a few of their reasons. So why would Iranians out of all people would manipulate the voters perception to bolster his chances for reelection?
Secondly, there was no ground to act for Iranians in 2020. When it comes to Russian, they already had a record of breaching U.S. election integrity in 2016. Back in the day, Russians led the effort against Hilary Clinton through extensive networking and backtracking which effectively got Trump elected to the office. On the other hand there is no evidence whatsoever implicating Iranians meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election since at that time any provocative action might have been used as an excuse for Americans to renege on their commitment. And even though Americans eventually withdrew from JCPOA during Trump’s tenure, Iranians wouldn’t still risk giving them the pretext to start yet another world coalition against them by interfering on the behalf of Trump who was bound to fail.
It must be clear as day by now that the Biden’s administration wants to keep stalling time for as long as it can so that it can readjust its policies with regards to the next president of Iran. Having said that, he has been consistently trying to portray himself as the tough guy so as to convince Saudi and Israeli lobbyists that he is hard on Iran. In the end however such theatricality will prove to be more counterproductive to the interactions between the two if there is any will for it. For all we know, Iranians haven’t been the guilty party for adhering to the rules set forth by 5 + 1 and reducing commitments in accordance to it. Could the U.S. administration say the same? We guess not. Thereby why this game of smoke and mirrors? We don’t know but we have a sneaking suspicion that not even Biden himself has an answer to that.