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Iran: Increasing controversy over negotiating with the U.S.

Negotiations with the US is driving the rift between factions of the regime deeper
Negotiations with the US is driving the rift between factions of the regime deeper

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Iran, June 17, 2019 - The Iranian regime President Hassan Rouhani’s so-called moderate faction is insisting on the necessity of negotiations, and any potential opposition to negotiations as catastrophic for the future of the Islamic Republic. This is despite the Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s public opposition to any type of negotiations, let alone relations with the U.S., and his latest reiteration of this stance in his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On the other hand, media outlets close to Khamenei’s faction attack proponents of negotiations and describe it as treason, and self-deprecating.

The Iran Newspaper, the Rouhani cabinet’s official mouthpiece, considers the idea of negotiations per se as positive, despite Shinzo Abe’s fruitless visit, reasoning that it has broken the taboo of negotiating with the U.S.

“Suggesting the subject of negotiating with the U.S. per se by media outlets that leads to breaking the taboo of negotiating with this country is a positive development. It may seem that the visits of some high-ranking official to Iran have not borne fruit. However, just the use of the word negotiation in political and media circles shows that until now Iran has acted intelligently and its moves are part of positive diplomacy,” Iran newspaper writes.

Mehdi Motaharnia, a political pundit close to Rouhani’s camp, clearly points to the rift between the government and Khamenei about negotiating with the U.S.

“If we consider the government to be the president and the executive branch as a whole, we need to accept it that this government wants to pave the way to solve the issue between Iran and the U.S. through diplomacy. This would decrease tensions between Tehran and Washington in the region, and across the globe,” he said.

Motaharnia then names Khamenei and his camp as the “state” and admits that in the mullahs’ regime, the government has no option but to follow the Supreme Leader.

“The government is under the supervision of the state, and we can actually say that the government carries out its political interactions under the supervision and responsibility of the state. In the framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the government can’t act upon its opinions and doctrines without considering the will of the state,” he added.

Motaharnia then describes how Khamenei and his faction do not take responsibility for their decisions and political choices and say the consequences of negotiating or not negotiating will be upon the shoulders of the government at the end of the day.

“Like the important case of the 2015 nuclear deal [known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] where the state started the negotiations and before the Rouhani government took power, the negotiations between Iran and the other side, especially the Americans, had already started in Oman. But the responsibility for the JCPOA remained on the shoulders of the government,” he added.

The Fararu website published an article titled, “The U.S. is seeking an international consensus against Iran”, and wrote: “The U.S. strategy is to pin down Iran. On the other hand, it wants to position itself in a way that the right is on its side and it can do take any measure it wants.”

“America’s first move to show the negotiations card and said that we are willing to negotiate with Iran. Generally, negotiations are a positive thing on the international stage. When a country says that we won’t negotiate, it is accused of avoiding diplomacy. Now, the Americans want to instill [the idea] that Iran will not negotiate. On the other hand, they accuse Iran of destabilizing the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to achieve their final goal,” the newspaper writes.

Media outlets close to the Supreme Leader attack the opposing factions reasoning and stance.

The Keyhan newspaper, the mouthpiece of Khamenei, writes in its editorial titled, “The last deception”: “If there are people who prescribe negotiations and ‘surrender in the face of coercion’, they are disqualified and they have no right to talk about human rights, freedom, human dignity and the like. They are the company of a caravan where, in the name of being pathfinders, they mislead the caravan to the midst of highwaymen’s ambush.”

Vatan Emrouz newspaper also published an article titled “The gift of Maas’ and Abe’s visit.”

“No one can claim that negotiating with Trump will bring some special economic results for Iran. At least under the current circumstances where he publicly throws the JCPOA into the wastepaper basket of the Oval Office in the White House, negotiating is nothing but stupidity and ridiculing oneself.”