Ali Motahari a social conservative and a former lawmaker in Iran has written to President Ebrahim Raisi urging him to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with the West.

Motahari, who has often criticized hardliners in recent years, said in his letter that Iran “has now acquired nuclear knowledge” and there is no reason to risk international action against the country, especially a possible UN Security Council resolution.

Motahari said, “Whether we like it or not, Iran’s economy is tied to the JCPOA and the removal of [United States] sanctions” and asked Raisi “to courageously ignore the emotional mood among some hardliners demanding the removal of the Revolutionary Guard from the [US] list of terrorist organizations.”

Iran’s year-long negotiations with world power, particularly the United States came to an abrupt pause in March, as reports said Tehran was demanding the removal of its Revolutionary Guard from the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). Nevertheless, hardliners dominating both the presidential administration and parliament insist that they can manage the economy despite crippling US sanctions.

Motahari went on to say that it is the Iranian people who must pay the economic price for some “irrational slogans”, which cost the country its economic development.

Motahari argued that the nuclear knowledge Iran has gained is sufficient for its peaceful purposes in medicine, agriculture, and other needs. “Why we should act in a way as to bring about the return of Iran’s nuclear file to the UN security Council” and the possible return of international sanctions, he asked. Motahari added that Iran should not count on Russia and China, as “We fundamentally do not trust them.”

The former deputy speaker of parliament argued that if the United States has labelled the IRGC “terrorist”, “We have also pronounced their CENTCOM terrorist, and our hands are free for certain actions.”

Motahari’s reference was to a decision by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council in 2019 that designated the US Central Command in the Middle East as a terrorist organization, after Washington listed the IRGC as an FTO.

“The expectation from your excellency is that you should solve this issue through the Supreme Council of National Security, as the Supreme Leader has delegated the resolution of the problem to you and the Council.”

While Motahari in his letter pressures Raisi to act, it is a well-known reality that major policy issues, such as Iran’s nuclear program cannot move forward without Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s decisions.

Motahari asked Raisi to relinquish the demand for removing the IRGC’s terrorist designation, “since our power could not overcome the opposition of the Zionist lobby.”

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