Seyed M Kazem Sajjadpour said the US President’s treatment of Iran would not be fruitful, in a withering assessment delivered at London’s Chatham House.
Mr Sajjadpour made his comments on the same day Mr Trump exhorted Americans to vote for Republican party candidates in the midterm elections which saw the Democrats win back control of the House of Representatives.
Mr Trump is a frequent critic of Iran, and has pulled the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) initiative aimed at preventing the Islamic republic developing nuclear weapons, while US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has branded President Hassan Rouhani’s regime a “mafia”.
Mr Pompeo has also offered encouragement to people organising protests in Tehran in response to the devaluation of Iran’s currency, the Rial, earlier this year, apparently in the hope of triggering a popular uprising which would result in Mr Rouhani being toppled.
But Mr Sajjadpour, speaking at an event organised by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said: “The assumption is that if you cut the money from the oil then Iran will be deprived, then Iranian people will revolt, then the system will be changed, then we will be fine, then the progress will come.
“I think this is the working assumption of the American administration and I think it is a very simple, naive working assumption which negates the realities of Iran, the realities of the real politics and the realities of the regional setting and I think that is very important to keep in mind.
“Furthermore there is a political civil war in the United States but I think there is also a tension between two competing camps on foreign policy.”
He suggested the two competing schools of thought were on the one hand a nationalistic approach, and on the other, an internationalist approach.
He added: “JCPOA was the result of those who believed in an international school of thinking.
“But now you have a nationalistic approach which thinks that the United States should be at the top of everything and not just America First but American and no other interest.
“It’s what we call establishing American hegemony globally by a very different, narrow-minded definition of American nationalism which negates the interest of the world.
“The JPCOA and sanctions is not just about Iran.
“It is about a transformative process in the international community where you have either international law organisations, diplomacy and negotiations, or you have the imposition, you have ‘what I like is the best’ and you have ‘follow me’, which is the American policy on the rest of the world of course.
“We cannot live in a world with so many chaotic situations without any law, any order, any organisation, any diplomacy, international law and multilateralism.”
Mr Sajjadpour was talking the day after the United States reimposed sanctions against against Iran’s oil exports to punish Tehran for its involvement in several Middle Eastern conflicts.
Guards Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards, responded by telling state news agency IRNA the country could flourish under sanctions and would defeat the United States in the economic war it had launched.
He added: “The enemy is trying to strike a blow against Iran through a soft war and an economic war but they will face a heavy defeat.
“Iran has been able to advance in any area that the enemy has placed sanctions on Islamic Iran.”
Iranian oil production peaked at 2.8 million barrels per day in April – but has since fallen to 1.8 million bpd.
Also speaking yesterday, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook raised the possiblity of countries and port operators facing US penalities for facilitating Iran’s “illicit activities” if they allowed Iranian ships access to international waterways and port facilities.
He said Iranian vessels would lose access to international insurance markets under US sanctions, adding: “From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke-points in between, Iranian tankers are a floating liability.
“Self-insured Iranain tankers are a risk to the ports that permit them to dock, the canals that allow them to transit and the boat that cross their path. This exposes the entire maritime shipping network to immense liability.”