A former senior lawmaker in Tehran says a US guarantee about its commitment to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran is the master key to unlock a new deal.
Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told the moderate conservative news website Khabar Online in Tehran on Sunday, August 7, that it is only a US guarantee to lift the sanctions, and a guarantee that there would be no impediment to Iran’s oil exports, other trade and foreign investments .
The former conservative lawmaker who headed the foreign policy and national security committee of the parliament added that it is only with such a guarantee that a revived version of the JCPOA could be signed and put into effect.
According to Khabar Online, an agreement is still not within reach despite all the hopes expressed by Iranian and US officials at different times. Meanwhile, despite conflicting statements by Iranian officials, Iran's former nuclear chief Fereidoun Davani has said, "Iranian negotiators have so far withheld from the nation and the parliament what their preconditions for the revival of the JCPOA are," and that everything in the press about this is sheer speculation.
Falahatpisheh said that "Iran has spent a lot of money on developing its uranium enrichment infrastructure and shutting it down will be a waste. So, Iran deserves a bigger concession if it is to accept to limit its nuclear program at this stage. This bigger concession could be lifting the sanctions and guaranteeing the implementation of the resulting agreement."
He said that US President Joe Biden has access to five different tools to guarantee an agreement. These tools include an executive order that will allow him to circumvent possible opposition at the Congress. He added that such a guarantee should make sure that any new agreement signed after the revival of the JCPOA would not be subjected to new sanctions.
He went further by saying that US Presidents can do anything if pressured but did not say how Iran can exert that pressure on Biden. Meanwhile, Falahatpisheh did not respond to Khabar Online's question about whether Iran would be ready to modify its preconditions if the US president gives Tehran the guarantees it wants.
Yet the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi may have another idea about a guarantee. His deputy chief of staff for political affairs Mohammad Jamshidi wrote in an August 5 tweet: "In all recent telephone conversations between President Raisi and the Presidents of France, Russia and China, it was his firm position that ONLY when the so called Safeguard Issues is resolved and closed, can the final agreement be achieved."
Iranian officials have often also raised the question of receiving foreign investments, while some Iranian commentators have pointed out that Western governments cannot force or convince private companies to invest in a country if they deem the prevailing conditions as risky.
Several Khabar Online readers expressed concern in the comments section about whether it is safe to allow the Iranian government to receive billions of dollars if an agreement is reached. They said that eventually the government would channel the funds to its regional proxy groups.
Others said they were worried that some corrupt officials would embezzle released assets. Several other readers commented that the US government is not trustworthy, and an agreement made with the current government could be torpedoed by the next US administration.