By Amir Taghati
After the meeting of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the president of the United States (Donald Trump) predicted in an interview that by increasing the pressure of sanctions on Iran’s economy, the regime will be forced to initiate a talk and give into a negotiation!
The idea of a negotiation is something that Iran’s regime has not only reflected upon, but also surprisingly welcomed. The crew of Hassan Rouhani has expressed directly and indirectly that they’d prefer to hold a debate before things get to a point where they’d have no other option but to completely surrender, and thereby, lose everything.
At the European office of the United Nations, Iran’s former diplomat Ali Khorram has also emphasised on the importance for Iran to shift its attention from chanting its anti-US slogans to negotiating with it instead: “given the current circumstances, both regionally and internationally, the government must consider participating in wise negotiations with the US before it’s too late, and before the consequences become irreparable. According to BBC news, Trump’s purpose of sanctions is to force Iran to sit down and negotiate. It’s certainly in Iran’s best interest not to disregard this offer so quickly, as its negotiation can end up being not just a diplomatic but also fruitful solution to all its current issues” (Saturday 14th June 2018, Jahan-e-Sanat newspaper).
The expert of international affairs, Ali Bigdeli, has also warned the regime to “take action” by “going ahead with negotiations” and thereby, “overcome the current dangerous circumstances”, “before US begins its sanctions” (14th June 2018, Arman newspaper).
Another expert of international affairs, who’s also a former diplomat of Iran, i.e., Fereidoun Majlesi, also recommends the same thing; which is for the regime to stop with its anti-US slogans and “pursue their benefit not via threatening the rest of the world, but through making wise contributions to the world’s balance and peace”. In other words, the only “wise” solution for the regime at “such a difficult time” is to have “appropriate negotiations” as “its first step towards reaching an effective agreement with the top authorities of international societies” (14th June 2018, Iran newspaper).
The question that now remains, is why Rouhani’s crew have welcomed Trump’s statement, which was essentially a prediction that they will be forced to give in and ask him to reconsider things?
The truth is, Iran’s current nuclear deal with Europe is much like a dead-end mirage. Many European companies that Iran currently trades with are in affiliation with, thereby, controlled by the US. Which means that the fear of sanctions might incline these companies to halt their activities with Iran, which is something that Europe can’t exactly change. In fact, French and German authorities have reiterated at multiple occasions that they simply can’t influence the decision of these companies should they wish to cease their cooperation with Iran. Which sheds more light on Iran’s rather welcoming response to Trump; afterall, just as Khorram has warned, if Iran refuses to negotiate with US, it might have to face a “very difficult and humiliating” situation, which will entail “being forced to accept the least amount of benefit”.
The important note to take here is that the indecisiveness and inconsistency shown by Iran’s regime, are some of the main characteristics of a dying dictatorship. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, knows better than anyone that even the best-case scenario (i.e., a successful negotiation) will ultimately be a “never-ending” downhill battle where the only outcome for Iran will be the negation of ‘Vilayat-e-Faqih’ (i.e., the Governance of the Islamic Jurist).