Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, former senior Iranian lawmaker.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, former senior Iranian lawmaker.

More Figures In Iran Call For Direct Talks With The United States

12/29/2021

After intense talks in Vienna for reviving the 2015 nuclear deal more observers in Iran expressed optimism on Wednesday that an agreement might be within reach.

International relations analyst Ali Bigdeli told the Iranian Labour News Agency ILNA that Iran is determined to reach results in the negotiations, adding that Tehran has reduced its expectations to make sure that it can achieve an agreement.

Meanwhile, Foreign policy commentator and former chief of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Relations Committee, Hershmatollah Falahatpisheh has said in an interview with Fararu news website in Tehran that "there is a higher likelihood for reaching an agreement although it will be difficult."

Falahatpisheh, who sounded more cautious, said that "generally both Iran and the United States are determined to reach an agreement, while some other JCPOA member states try to disrupt a possible deal."

Iran's top officials are silent about the matter but reports on the website of the official news agency IRNA are also optimistic about a positive change in Vienna.

However, both the United States and its three European allies in the talks sounded much more guarded on Tuesday, saying Iran is not negotiating with sufficient speed.

According to Ali Bigdeli, Iran is adamant to make the talks fruitful and has adopted a softer position. He added that that the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna is more concerned about manoeuvres by hardliners in Tehran than being mindful of what the other sides in the negotiations might say about various issues.

Like most commentators who have talked about the Vienna negotiations during the past week, Bigdeli also agreed that indirect talks with the United States has not been constructive and Iran and America should begin to directly speak with each other. He noted that when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was being hammered out, US secretary of state John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif were the ones who met face-to-face and made the final deal.

Bigdeli said that indirect nature of talks with the US and the influence of Iran's hardliners in Tehran are the two factors that have delayed reaching an agreement in the Vienna talks.

However, international and regional developments as well as the economic crisis in Iran make agreement with the United States an urgent matter, he said.

Meanwhile, Falahatpisheh mentioned the interests of other JCPOA member states as another obstacle in the Vienna talks. He said that France is mainly concerned about winning contracts with Arab states in the region rather than being focused on the JCPOA talks. He added that sometimes the French delegates appear to represent Israel rather than France. Falahatpisheh added that even China and Russia look at the Vienna talks and the JCPOA as a means of securing their own interests.

The former lawmaker added that the current situation is the product of Iran's miscalculations. Iran got the Europeans and others involved in the talks because Iran's hardliners had turned direct negotiations with America into a taboo.

In fact, direct negotiations with the United States has been banned by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei since 2018.

Falahatpisheh said: "I believe Iran and America are enemies, but they are reasonable enough to solve their confrontation through diplomacy rather than by other means." He said that other players in the JCPOA were involved in the talks as mediators, but they follow their own interests rather than seeking to resolve problems between Iran and the United States.

He stressed that what serves Iran's interests is reducing tensions with the `United States.

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