The Islamic Republic of Iran is trying to influence the 2020 elections to prevent President Donald Trump from being re-elected, warned a Harvard expert.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a business strategist, adviser, and political scientist, warned in an Oct. 10 opinion piece that Iran’s ayatollah regime would be trying to prevent President Trump’s re-election in 2020.

Rafizadeh also said that it is not the first time that they have done something like this and recalled how the kidnapping of 52 diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 was an instrument to prevent the re-election of Democratic President Jimmy Carter.

“The newly established theocratic government evidently wanted to project the new power it possessed to manipulate its new enemy, which it called the ‘Great Satan.’ Minutes after President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, however, on January 20, 1981, Iran released the hostages. It was obvious that Iran’s move to create the hostage crisis and the inability of President Jimmy Carter to bring the American citizens home was doubtless one of the reasons for his defeat in the presidential election of 1980,” the expert explained.

Rafizadeh stated that Iran is currently taking very decisive steps in several areas to try to prevent President Trump’s re-election.

Cyberattacks

Microsoft reported on Oct. 4 that between August and September it detected more than 2,700 attempts to hack 241 email accounts mostly associated with Trump’s presidential campaign, U.S. officials, journalists covering world politics, and prominent Iranians living outside the country, according to Reuters.

Microsoft’s statement said it had detected “significant cyber activity by a threat group we call Phosphorus, which we believe originates from Iran and is linked to the Iranian government.”

“This effort suggests Phosphorus is highly motivated and willing to invest significant time and resources engaging in research and other means of information gathering,” adding that, however, the attacks were not technically very sophisticated.

Disinformation campaign on social networks

Facebook reported in August that it had found and deleted 652 pages of groups and supposedly coordinated media outlets that originated in Iran and had links to Iranian state media.

Facebook also detected similar activity from Russia, but found no connection between the two countries.

Twitter also reported that it found thousands of accounts linked to the totalitarian regime of the Ayatollahs that were dedicated to spreading fake news and headlines.

Twitter said in a statement that it detected 770 accounts “potentially originating in Iran” that had published more than 10 million tweets and two million images with the aim of influencing the election campaign.

Increasing tension in the region

According to Rafizadeh’s vision, the ayatollahs would be trying to destabilize the region by escalating tension in the region to raise oil and gas prices “and then blame all these problems on the Trump administration.”

Missile launches against civilian targets in Saudi Arabia and the constant bombing of southern Israel from Gaza with Hamas-financed bombs are some examples of these attempts to destabilize the region and sow chaos.

On the other hand, the recent seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker, Stena Empero, “appears to be part of a wider effort to blackmail the U.S. and the EU into keeping funds flowing, as U.S. sanctions continue to bite,” Rafizadeh explained.

Iran is suffering greatly from the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration for repeated noncompliance with its nuclear nonproliferation commitments.

In 2018, President Trump withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 between the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany under former Democratic President Barack Obama.

The president justified his decision by pointing out, among other things, that the nuclear agreement did not actually include any ban on Iran’s development of advanced missile technology, including ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

“The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity and no limits at all on its other malign behavior, including its sinister activity in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere around the world,” President Trump said May 8.

Rafizadeh warned, “The threat Iran poses to the U.S. presidential elections is real and urgent—for Iran to be stopped, it should finally be held accountable.”