Hesamoddin Ashena, a former presidential advisor under Hassan Rouhani

Ex-Presidential Advisor Urges Iran To Negotiate With US

Thursday, 02/01/2024

Hesamoddin Ashena, a former presidential advisor under Hassan Rouhani, has advocated for talks with the United States amid brewing regional conflict.

Suggesting this is the opportune moment for dialogue, Ashena wrote on X, "If one believes negotiations must occur from a position of strength, then is now the time?"

It comes in the wake of an Iran-backed proxy attack on US troops in Jordan, which left three US personnel died on Sunday, leaving questions for the Biden administration as to what comes next in the face of an emboldened Iran.

Tensions between Iran and the US have reached a new level since the Gaza war, when over 160 Iran-backed proxy attacks have targeted US facilities and personnel in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Red Sea shipping routes. They claim to be acting in allegiance with Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza.

On October 7, the militant group launched a surprise invasion of Israel, sparking the worst war between Israel and the Gaza-based group since they took over the strip in 2007. Iran's proxies claim to be pressuring for a ceasefire, and targeting the US for its support of Israel's retaliatory attacks which Hamas claims has killed over 20,000 Gazans.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has consistently rejected the prospect of direct talks with the United States. Throughout the 11-month period of nuclear negotiations held in Vienna from April 2021 to March 2022, the United States remained involved but primarily on the sidelines and Tehran refused to hold talks directly.

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