Iran's former foreign minister Javad Zarif and former US Secretary of State John Kerry during Obama-era nuclear talks.

Iran's former foreign minister Javad Zarif and former US Secretary of State John Kerry during Obama-era nuclear talks.

Tehran Should Hold Direct Talks With Washington, Iran Pundits Say

12/21/2021

Tehran should avoid miscalculations and should convince Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to allow direct talks with the United States, pundits say in Iran.

Asr Iran, a moderate-conservative website published an article by Amir PasadehpourMonday saying Iran should take the step before it runs out of time to reach a settlement and avoid the final blow to its extremely weakened economy.

Similar opinions are more often expressed by some Iranian media outlets and public figures recently.

The article said that decisions made by Iranian nuclear negotiators in Vienna are often based on a miscalculation that avoiding direct talks with the United States delegation will humiliate America in the same way that the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran weakened the Carter Administration in 1979.

However, Pasandehpour argued that while the US public was sensitive to the hostage crisis, it really does not care much about what is taking place in Vienna. He added that miscalculating the situation could be dangerous for Iran.

Meanwhile, Pasandehpour added that unreliability of information coming from the Iranian negotiators about the Vienna talks has forced Iranian media and pundits to make judgements solely based on Western media.

During the past weeks, while the Iranian negotiating team and its leader Ali Bagherti-Kani insisted that there were no differences of opinion between the Iranian and other negotiators, it turned out every time that Western negotiators later denied Bagheri's statements.

In the latest case, while the Iranian negotiators last week said that the talks have led to desirable results, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan warned that there has been no progress in the talks and stressed that time was running out for any settlement. The E3 delegates also concurred with Sullivan.

Pasandehpour said that under the circumstances it was unlikely that the two sides could reach an agreement even in the next round of the talks.

Another miscalculation Iranian negotiators make is to believe have that as mid-term Congressional elections approach, the US sides, particularly those at the White House desperately need an agreement with Iran as a winning chip in the election. In fact, the author says, domestic issues are far more important in the elections than international issues.

Meanwhile, another moderate conservative website in Iran, Aftab News, highlighted the difference of opinion between the Iranian team and other negotiators about whether Iran has accepted the agreements made in the first six rounds of the talks as a basis for further negotiations. The website wrote that it is not yet clear whether the two sides are moving toward an interim agreement or even the previous agreement is falling apart.

Jalal Sadatian, a former Iranian ambassador to the United Kingdom, told Aftab News that negotiators usually approach each other with some distrust. That is how Western negotiators look at Iran and they have made Bagheri aware of it. Moreover, Iranian analysts believe that Tehran has no roadmap for the talks about the nuclear issue, and matters relating to human rights and terrorism.

Iran also wants a guarantee that the US will never leave a new agreement. Sadatian said it is highly unlikely that the current President of the United States can provide a guarantee that on behalf of a future president.

Foreign relations commentator Ali Bigdeli told Aftab News, "Bagheri has said that Iran and Western countries agree over 80 percent of the current draft agreement. This was the same 80 percent agreement that was made under the Rouhani administration." In other words, there has been no progress in the talks since the new negotiators took over several weeks ago.

Science Weekly
IITV News (24) - DC
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