0249 GMT November 30, 2022
In the U.S. mid-term elections, Democrats won 50 seats in the Senate and the fate of one seat will be decided next month in a runoff. As Vice-President Kamala Harris has the casting vote, Democrats attained their narrow majority in the Senate. Republicans and Democrats bagged 211 and 203 seats in the House of Representatives, respectively. The GOPs will have the upper hand in the House, but fell short of an absolute majority. The “red storm” about which the Republicans boasted apparently didn’t sweep the American society. International affairs expert Jahanbakhsh Izadi believes Republicans failed to live up to expectations in the race and that their rivals chucked up the narrow win.
IRAN DAILY: Based on the U.S. mid-term elections result, who are the winners, Republicans or Democrats?
Izadi: Historically, the ruling party loses mid-term elections in the U.S. During former president Barack Obama’s tenure, Democrats lost a relatively large number of seats in the House. Therefore, one can say that the Republicans, contrary to expectations, had a lackluster performance and the Democrats can be considered as the winners.
The Republicans had already assumed themselves the winners and bragged about a red storm that would crush the Democrats. They had pinned their hope on the Biden administration’s week performance to secure an outright victory. But the red storm did not hit U.S. society. Moreover, the Democrats were more successful on the campaign trail as the young fans of the party came out with both barrels blazing to shore up their candidates.
The Democrats used their experience to focus more on areas replete with undecided voters to draw them to their nominees. Unlike their Republican rivals, they heeded much attention on the priorities of American society including the economy as well as people's livelihood which fairly worked for them, pushing down GOP votes in battlefields.
Will Republicans’ majority in the House lead to more pressure on the Biden administration to change some policies?
The Republicans have a narrow majority in the House, which means they did not get the number of seats they expected. On the other hand, whatever passes through the House can only become law if the Senate Okays them. Therefore, considering the majority of the Democrats in the Senate, it does not seem that there will be a change in the policies of the Biden administration. The House focuses more on internal issues, unlike the Senate, which works on grand policies and foreign policy.
Will the Republicans pressure the administration over Iran?
Iran is one of the strategic issues in the U.S. Major decisions about the country are usually taken in a bipartisan manner. However, the two parties have significant differences in tactics. Before the mid-term elections, the Biden administration had tried to turn Iran into a security issue with the help of the European Union. Iran's sale of drones to Russia also gave them the excuse to act against Iran. GOP pressure cannot bring about any change in Biden's tough policy on Iran to make it harsher. However, Iran is expected to face more challenges at the regional and international level, but this has nothing to do with the Republicans.
How can Iran prevent the escalation of tensions?
There could be short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions for Iran to handle tensions. In my opinion, efforts should be redoubled to boost cooperation rather than confrontation. Iran has the capacity to interact both at the regional level and at the international level. Plus, addressing internal issues can help Iran foil American, European and Israeli scenarios for the country. Anyhow, I don’t see a diplomatic deadlock in such a situation, and I think that Iran has the capacity to interact.