A conservative newspaper in Iran has criticized officals for claiming they could nullify US sanctions by resistance rather than by reaching a nuclear deal.
Jomhouri Eslami (Islamic Republic), was launched in 1979 by current Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as the mouthpiece of the fundamentalist Islamic Republic Party but has increasingly adopted a critical stance against hardliners who have established full control over the state.
The newspaper wrote on Saturday, July 30 in an editorial by its editor Massih Mohajeri, , a cleric who maintains his own independent views regardless of the paper's former political affiliation, that the Raisi administration has visible weaknesses in the area of foreign policy and nuclear negotiations."
During the past year, Jomhouri Eslami has opposed the Iranian government's official views on foreign policy issues including relations with the Taliban in Afghanistan, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the nuclear talks and domestic political issues including the violent crackdown on what Iranian hardliners call "bad hijab" women.
Diplomats negotiating to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, JCPOA, have repeatedly said that an agreement has almost been completed in 11 months of talks in Vienna, but Tehran demands more sanctions be lifted than Washington is willing to waive.
The daily wrote that many Iranians ask in political circles, family gatherings and government and private business office meetings "Where are we standing in the talks about [reviving] the nuclear deal and where are we headed? Will the negotiations result in an agreement or remain futile?"
Masih Mohajeri, chief editor of Jomhuriyeh Eslami newspaper
According to the daily, the question arises by the fact that contrary to slogans by Iranian officials, a major part of the economy and the people's livelihoods are tied to the sanctions. The newspaper stressed that slogans about nullifying sanctions without doing any harm to the people have led to no tangible results.
"Those who chanted that slogan have been in charge of the country's executive affairs for a year now, and they have reached the conclusion that Iran's economic problems cannot be solved without lifting the sanctions," Mohajeri wrote.However, he acknowledged that part of the country's problems are the outcome of the inefficiency of Raisi's economic ministers and Raisi has so far refused to replace them.
"The paper said there is now an opportunity to reach a fair deal. “While officials on both side agree that an agreement is within reach, and some regional players have talked about a golden opportunity to reach a deal, Iranian officials are expected to realize that no better situation is going to emerge for an agreement," stressed the Jomhouri Eslami, adding that the Iranian nation will be happy with the achievement that was within reach in May 2021 on the final days of Iran's previous government, and suggested that Iranian negotiators should strive to finalize that agreement.
During the past weeks, many Iranian observers including commentators and lawmakers criticized President Ebrahim Raisi for claiming that the people wish to resist rather than reach an agreement that would lift the sanctions and bring about a breakthrough in Iran's economy.
Some former Iranian diplomats suggested that Raisi and other ultraconservatives take advantage of the current foreign policy impasse over the revival of the JCPOA for their own personal or factional political gains to strengthen their foothold in Iran's domestic politics.
This comes while several Iranian politicians including former vice President Mostafa Hashemi Taba have said that the current foreign policy impasse perpetuates the country's paralyzing economic crisis, one of the worst in Iran's modern history.