EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (L) and Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran, June 25, 2022

EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (L) and Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran, June 25, 2022

Iran Pundits Think New Talks With Washington Would Be The Last


A well-known analyst in Iran says that the upcoming round of talks with the United States could to be the last since both sides have a convergence of interests.

Some media outlets in Iran, not directly under government management, have published interviews with local pundits about the prospects of more nuclear talks with the United States, after the visit Saturday of the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to Tehran.

The visit ended in a positive tone that Tehran and Washington might resume indirect talks after a hiatus since March, in a Persian Gulf country, apparently without the participation of Russia and China, two other signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement known as the JCPOA.

Diako Hosseini, a well-known political analyst in Tehran told the Islamic Labour News Agency (ILNA), expressed confidence that Iran was already tilting toward renewed talks, even before the recent visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Tehran. He did not say how if Lavrov’s meetings with Iranian officials helped convince them to respond positively to Borrell, or as some other Iranian experts believe, Moscow has never been helpful in Iran’s nuclear talks.

Hosseini argued that both Iran and the United States see the JCPOA as serving their interests and if talks resume, this would be the last round and agreement will be at hand.

Asked how the two sides would resolve their outstanding differences, the analyst said that it is possible they would push points of contention to future talks and focus on reviving the 2015 deal, which President Doanld Trump abandoned in 2018.

Iranian political analyst Diako Hosseini

Tehran has been demanding the removal of its Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) from the US list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). Washington has rejected the demand so far, saying that the IRGC sanctions are not related to the nuclear issue and are “extraneous” to the talks.

Hosseini seemed to be suggesting that Iran could decide not to insist on this or other demands, with an agreement to discuss them after an deal to return to the JCPOA.

“If there is a will to reach an agreement, it is possible to find formulas so that the remaining differences do not to prevent a restoration of the JCPOA,” he said.

Borrell during his visit also spoke about shared interests with Iran over energy resources. Asked if this means Europe is ready to make separate deals with Iran, Hosseini responded that there would be no guarantees from Europe but perhaps “incentives” would be offered.

Reza Nasri, another Tehran-based analyst speaking to Rouydad24 website, dismissed demands often voiced by Iranian officials for iron-clad guarantees that the US would not pull out of an agreement in the future and Europe would be forthcoming in full economic cooperation.

“In all countries, including Iran, there is concept of national interest or ‘Raison d'état’ which allows states based on sovereignty – with their unilateral decision – to abrogate any guarantee or legal obligation toward another country,” he said. Indirectly referring to Iranian officials, he quipped that “Those who beat the drums of receiving guarantees, should say what kind of guarantee they want from America that only addresses one issue.”

He also expressed the view that fast changing global conditions in recent months might have also changed calculations in Washington and Tehran.

Nasri went on to say the best guarantee is creating conditions in which the other side calculates that “breaking an agreement is more harmful than staying committed.”

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