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Iran and negotiations: Poison or Cure?

Are negotiations considered poison or cure for Iran’s regime
Are negotiations considered poison or cure for Iran’s regime

Analysis by PMOI/MEK


Iran, May 19, 2019In an attempt to calm the fears of a potential war with U.S. forces, Iran regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei on May 14 told his concerned cronies: “There isn’t going to be any war and negotiations are poison.”

But his attempt to soothe this fear was not effective and less than a day after his comments, signs of engaging in talks with the U.S. surfaced from both factions. This comes at a time when Khamenei’s faction continues to attack the rival faction for seeking ways to succumb to U.S. demands.

Just a day after Khamenei said ‘Negotiation is poison’, voices were heard from both factions reiterating the need for talks and even accepting the international terms and conditions showing dispersion among the ruling elite.


Succumb to US demands

Comments by Hermidas Bavand, a former official of the regime’s foreign affairs ministry, published in Arman daily a day after Khamenei’s speech, reiterated the need for giving concessions to open the path for a new round of negotiations.

“Tehran must free some of the prisoners [the West is calling for] to neutralize Washington’s human rights excuse,” Bavand said. “Iran must engage in a series of domestic and foreign measures. Domestically, the country’s interests dictate that even preemptively speaking, Iran must neutralize the image that Washington has been portraying of Iran on the issue of human rights and political prisoners. And then bring up the subject of unconditional negotiations,” Arman daily affiliated to Rouhani faction reported on May 15.



Giving more chance to diplomacy

The Iranian Diplomacy website close to Rouhani’s faction published an article on May 14 titled “To give more chance to diplomacy” saying, in a logical and calculated measure, Tehran must assign new, balanced and moderate figures in order to undermine the clout of extreme elements of the US administration team.

“Meanwhile, maintaining a strategic dialogue with Europe and enlightening them of the effects of possible dangers that could stem from the cooperation between both sides of the Atlantic would become necessary. Of course, we must try to place the burden of responsibilities and prices they have to pay on Europe’s shoulder,” the website wrote.



Opening the path to dialogue

Esmael Kosari, from the hardline faction associated with Khamenei, defined negotiations as something that does not happen only once and it will force itself over and over again.

“If the negotiations were only once, we could sit around the table for the second time. However, unless the rival side engages in a series of measures to prove to us their actions are sincere and flawless, then we could assess the situation and decide upon that,” the Tadbir & Omid website associated to the hardline faction of the regime wrote on May 15.

Kamal Kharrazi, a former minister of foreign affairs and one of Khamenei’s key allies, currently chairs the regime’s Foreign Affairs Strategic Council. In an interview with the French Express publication, he showed signs of willingness on the part of the hardliners for negotiations with the U.S.

Commenting on a question citing [US President] Donald Trump saying for dialogue we have a positive approach, he said: “The first step is for the U.S to come back to the negotiating table,” according to the Daneshjoo website affiliated to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Basij militias.

Amirali Abolfath, one of the key elements of the Rouhani faction, sought an attempt by the Europeans to tie the knot between the regime and the U.S.

“Europe’s possible attempt to engage Iran and the Americans into dialogue was started years ago. In other words, we can say that other than the first couple of years that the Islamic Republic was taking shape, Europe has always advanced this policy of trying to engage Iran and America into some form of conciliation and understanding,” the Entekhab website, associated to Iran’s so-called reformist faction, wrote on May 15.



The “Looking East” mirage

In an attempt to free himself of the stalemate the theocratic system is stuck in relation to the West and Europe, Khamenei sought a policy of looking toward East, especially Russia and China. Different media and elements of his faction repeated his words wherever possible.

However, constant U.S. pressures and in a situation that according to Fararoo website, “Europe was kicking the ball left and right,” and despite Khamenei’s insistence that we can’t expect much from Europe, there is a growing concern among ruling factions. They believe that in order to survive and put this crisis behind, looking toward Europe is the only hope. At the end of the day, we must even accept the disgrace and the shame of negotiating with the U.S., some regime elements believe.

Khamenei’s insistence in shying away from foreign support for solving his regime’s crises means that in order to overcome these problems, especially the increasing pressures from the US, the country must rely on domestic capacities.

However, the bogus nature of such an approach is so utterly obvious that while his words were still in the air, and contrary to his claims, his cronies and state-run media are proscribing engagement with Europe and the U.S.

The persistence by state-run media and element of the regime to negotiate with the U.S. and keep relations alive with Europe stems from the fact that there are no domestic capacities to tackle the existing political, social and economic dead ends. And the theocratic system has none of those claimed domestic capacities to rely on to circle the ever-growing difficulties. Not to mention that internally the regime is facing a growing discontent and scattered uprisings by the frustrated and angry people, and a viable and active dissident movement that is organizing daily protests and rallies around the country is challenging the entire system.



Endless crisis

The contrast between the idea promoted by media and elements of the regime from that of the supreme leader, with no doubt, is rooted in the endless crisis entangling the entire system with no solution in sight. The reality is that before Khamenei and ruling elite carry the shame of dialogue or the danger of confronting the West and the international community, they are facing a more imminent and major crisis at home in a faceoff between the people and the system in its entirety.

The real concern that shakes the system is not so much from the outside, but from inside with the people and “Resistance Units” – associated to the Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) – in the streets of Tehran and other major cities.

Therefore, under the current circumstances, negotiations for the regime, as spelled out by Khamenei himself, are a poison that would enter its body and rapidly overwhelm the entire system, driving it to a hasty demise.