A former senior lawmaker, who has been warning about Russia's intentions in Iran’s nuclear talks, says he is now more optimistic about a deal with Washington.
Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh has written several articles and given many interviews during the past four weeks warning about Russia's obstruction of Iran’s nuclear talks with the West and calling on the Iranian government to adopt an independent approach. He has also warned the authorities not to fall in Russia’s trap and avoid becoming hostage to over-reliance on Moscow and Beijing.
This comes while Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who delivered two speeches in the past two days has not mentioned the nuclear talks and a possible deal with America. As Iran watcher Jason Bradsky observed in a series of tweets , Khamenei "gave a long, tedious lecture on the need for a knowledge-based economy. Khamenei stressed the need of not tying the economy to U.S. sanctions, but he hedged as usual."
Brodsky quoted Khamenei as saying: "of course this doesn't mean we are not seeking ways to lift these sanctions and those who are active in these fields should follow up on that," and added that this was all Khamenei had to say about the negotiations. However, Brodsky noted, "That doesn't mean the establishment isn't interested in a deal, but it is only interested in one on its terms," and that is "lifting the sanctions."
Former influential Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh
In his interview, Falahatpisheh, the former head of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, regretted that the talks were delayed for at least four years due to factional infighting among politicians in Iran. He observed that as a result, Iran's oil exports dropped to as little as 300 thousand barrels per day during the Trump administration.
He said that during the Biden administration, the figure rose to around 1.3 million barrels, however, Iran lost billions of dollars in oil revenues as it sold its output at a discounted price. He estimated that during the past 11 months Iran lost around $40 million a day, or at least $13.5 billion.
The conservative politician said Iran's first mistake was to hand over decision making to Russian negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov, and its second mistake was holding talks with all the JCPOA member states while it needed only to talk with the United States, a country that could have lifted all the barriers on the way of international trade for Iran.
Falahatpisheh opined that by winning a deal with the United States, Iranian leaders can move the country away from international tensions. He added that Iran needs to reduce tensions at the national, regional and international levels.
Meanwhile, he claimed that Iran's winning card was the resistance of its people against sanctions hinting that people carried the economic hardships without causing major unrest. But he failed to mention that their silence was largely the result of the regime's heavy-handed and violent suppression of dissent.
Two other winning cards, Falahatpisheh said, was Iran’s ability to advance in nuclear technology against all odds, and Tehran's self-reliance in defense. The latter, he said was what prevented the country from experiencing a fate similar to that of Ukraine.