Iran: Will regime negotiate with the United States or not?

By INU Staff

INU - The Iranian regime is being put under a great deal of pressure – in particular by the United States. Oil sanctions are having a major impact on the regime and it is now threatening to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if the remaining signatories do not take measure to compensate for U.S. sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been open about his motivations for pressure on Iran. He wants to bring Iran back to the negotiating table so the issues that were not addressed in the nuclear deal can be dealt with.

Iranian officials however have refused to negotiate with Trump. And the Supreme Leader reiterated this stance last week.

Tensions between the United States and Iran reached a new height after the Trump administration deployed military reinforcements to the Middle East. Many were saying that a war is imminent.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last week that there will be no war, but also said that there would be no negotiations. He described negotiations with the United States as “poison”.

Yet not all officials are in agreement with this statement about negotiations because, less than 24 hours later, officials from both factions of the regime mentioned the possibility.

In Tadbir & Omid, a publication with links to the hardliners, Esmael Kosari said that the question of negotiations is something that will continue to be offered by the United States. He said that if the United States is willing to engage in “a series of measures to prove to us their actions are sincere and flawless” then the regime could be persuaded to reconsider.

A publication close to the Rouhani faction, “Iranian Diplomacy” also said that diplomacy must be given a chance and that more moderate officials should be used to balance the Trump administration’s tough stance on Iran.

A key aide to the Supreme Leader and a former minister of foreign affairs Kamal Kharrazi indicated during an interview with the French Express that there may be a possibility of hardliners entering into negotiations with the United States if there is a positive approach.

And a former foreign affairs official Hermidas Bavand said in the Arman daily that Iran must be prepared for concessions, suggesting that prisoners are freed “to neutralize Washington’s human rights excuse”. He said that the regime would then be in a position to “bring up the subject of unconditional negotiations”.

The Iranian regime is more split than ever and the internal disputes and incongruities are now impossible to hide. However, the pressure from outside the country may soon be the least of the regime’s worries as the domestic pressure is maintained by the people of Iran. The main opposition to the Iranian regime, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK), is working with the “Resistance Units” inside the country to make sure that the people’s wishes are heard. One way or another, the regime’s existence will soon draw to a close.