A former senior lawmaker in Iran says the chance of reaching a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the United States has been lost.
Meanwhile, a prominent academic and ‘reformist’ analyst in Tehran said, "Iran's hardliners do not want an agreement, they simply want a respectful exit from the JCPOA." As though confirming this view, Noor News, a website close to Iran's Supreme Council of National Security, dismissed optimism in Europe and America about an imminent agreement.
Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the former head of the Iranian Parliament's Foreign Policy and national Security Committee wrote in a commentary on Didban Iran [Iran Monitor] website that "Tehran and Washington are trying to blame each other for the failure of the nuclear negotiations and declare an end to diplomacy."
The conservative politician added that the only possibility for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal depends on whether Iran and the United States are committed to a long-term understanding in their relations.
In a rare clarity from a commentator in Iran over the nuclear issue, Falahatpisheh maintained that Iran should create a meaningful distance between its nuclear capabilities and the time when it can make a bomb. This will help the United States to convince its regional allies including Israel about the usefulness of an agreement. At the same time, Washington should undertake to protect Iran’s economic and trade ties once a deal is signed.
Falahatpisheh speaking in parlaiment in 2018
Falahatpisheh added that even Raisi's opponents in Iran do not agree with a deal that would compromise Iran's nuclear achievements, meaning its Uranium enrichment capability.
The commentator said, however, that the Supreme Council of National Security, which is reviewing EU's proposal for a deal, should not accept it if it cannot be practically implemented. "Iran should not compromise its achievements and should only accept a comprehensive deal," he said. Falahatpisheh added that even if Iran rules out the EU proposal, Tehran and Washington can still work out an "oil for inspection deal" with the purpose of confidence building. He said such a deal would be based on a partial lifting of US sanctions.
Meanwhile, in an interview with the government-owned semi-official news agency ISNA, hardliner commentator Abbas Salimi Namin claimed that nuclear accusations against Iran that hinder an agreement are mainly fabricated by Israel and some Iranian opposition groups.
Salimi Namin also repeated Iran’s demand that the new agreement should contain a mechanism that would prevent a US withdrawal in the future. Without that mechanism, naturally, Iran will not welcome the proposal," he said.
Salimi Namin tried to reassure JCPOA member states that ultimately once the highest authority in Iran agrees to a deal, it will be final. He pointed out that "despite the harsh criticism of the JCPOA in Iran in 2015, no one tried to put an end to the deal. "
Sadegh Zibakalam, a frequent citic of hardliners in Iran
Reformist analyst Sadeq Zibakalam told Khabar Online website that Iran's hardliners want a decent exit from the JCPOA rather than an agreement with the United States. He said Iranian negotiators and officials set meaningless and impossible conditions for an agreement hoping that no deal would be reached.
One such instance is Iran’s demand for the West to guarantee an economic windfall from a nuclear deal, Zibakalam said. This depends not only on the JCPOA but also Tehran’s change of behavior and relations with its neighbors, otherwise not many companies would be willing to deal with Iran.