Without preamble, pay attention to these words of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei:
“When the Americans say, “Let us negotiate”, this is what they want to negotiate over. I strongly ask everyone to pay attention to this. Of course, I have repeatedly spoken about this, but I have to say it again because some people do not understand or pretend that they have not understood it:
“When the enemy says, “Let us negotiate”, it means “Come and sit at the negotiating table so that we will instruct you not to build missiles, which you have to accept of course.” If you accept their terms, well, you will be ruined as you have actually rendered yourselves defenseless. And if you do not accept their terms, there will be the same story: there will be more skirmishes, more sanctions and more threats. This is what negotiation means. The reason why I say that we will not negotiate with the US is that it is pointless.” (Khamenei.ir, July 31)
The first thing that comes to mind for Khamenei’s audience is that this regime will not enter negotiations with the United States. In other words, negotiation is the ‘red line’ of this regime.
Khamenei has made more explicit statements:
“The issue of nuclear weapons is an excuse. They even oppose our access to conventional weapons because they want to take the components of power from Iran.” (State-run daily Etemad, February 23)
Relying on this comment, he announced: “The Islamic Republic will not retreat in the nuclear issue like other issues, and it will move forward with strength in the direction of what is the interest and need of today and tomorrow of the country.” (State-run daily Etemad, February 23)
Let us go back from this date and these facts. Khamenei called the talks a ‘double poison’ on May 14, 2019 and said: “They say let’s negotiate about your defense weapon, why build a missile with a certain range. Reduce the range so that if we hit you, you cannot hit our base and answer!
“Well, it is clear that no ruthless and intelligent Iranian will not negotiate about its strengths. Or, for example, they say let us talk about the depth of your strategy in the region. That means lose it. So, the principle of negotiation is wrong, even with a reasonable person. They are not reasonable people and they do not adhere to anything. Of course, no one of our intellectuals wants to negotiate.”
So far, the intended audience – from the data – draws the following conclusion:
- The religious fascism does not intend to renegotiate the current JCPOA or beyond the JCPOA Plus.
- In this negotiation, Iran’s negotiating partners do not distribute any candies and do not give concessions to the regime. The regime in its negotiation with the ‘unreasonable’ must shut down its missile production and cut off its strategic depths (footprints of terrorists in other countries) to open its economic breathing space.
- The main loser in this negotiation is the religious fascism; because it is under the pressure of sanctions and the sanctions have pushed it to the brink of suffocation.
- Khamenei does not negotiate, unless he is forced to. That is, he has to make a difficult existential decision and losing his hegemony.
- When he is forced to negotiate, it means he is in a state of weakness. As he said, he has committed an irrational act.
- For Iran’s regime, negotiation is a sign of weakness and like drinking from the ‘chalice of poison’. Therefore, it will have its effects and consequences on the position of the regime in Iranian society.
So far, what we have read is a stubbornness of the regime about the negotiations, but what is seen in the daily interactions of this regime with foreign parties is opposite to the previous claims. The first example is the regime’s compliance with the wishes of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The next step was its retreat under pressure from the IAEA Board of Governors, which was supposed to issue a resolution against the regime.
Then we see that the foreign minister of this regime is constantly issuing negotiation pulses. “Hurry the window is closing. Why should we go on far places?”
And finally, there are the remarks of Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani:
“(America) should know that we are also ready for the treaty! We are ready with the whole, we are ready with the parts. We are ready for all the commitment against all the commitment, part of the commitment against part of the commitment. If they (America) return to the treaty, we will return to the treaty. Sanctions are the will of Zionism, is the will of the fundamentalism in the region, we must not let their will be implemented and operational. We explicitly told the White House come back to the law and do not be embarrassed and know that with your return we will immediately return to our commitments and will stand by the end to the treaty. (State-run daily, March 10)
Without any further comment, this is the realty of this regime. And this is nothing new; this is how they have played and mocked the entire world for more than 40 years.