Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Iran, June 8, 2019 - Despite repeated remarks by Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on no negotiations with the United States, the issue is still a point of controversy among officials and power brokers of different political factions inside Tehran’s ruling elite.
However, among Iranian officials, no one explains why Khamenei is in such utter fear over talks with the U.S. Even the mullahs’ President Hassan Rouhani, who until two weeks ago suggested that negotiations were a way out of the current dilemma, doesn’t tell anyone why all of a sudden he considers resistance as the only remaining option.
Ahmad Khatami, a senior Iranian mullah close to Khamenei’s camp, made interesting remarks recently. “The important issue is combating and hating [the U.S.]. The reason is clear: The triangle of (U.S. President Donald) Trump, (Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo and (National Security Advisor John) Bolton continuously talk these days about negotiating with the U.S. as if they intend to bring the state to the negotiating table with the [U.S.] as soon as possible. And some naïve Iranians, despite all the broken promises we have witnessed from the U.S., don’t mind to sing that song from time to time,” he said. “What the [U.S.] suggests today under the pretext of negotiations, is nothing more than surrender. The U.S. doesn’t want to negotiate about casual matters. They want to negotiate about important issues,” Khatami added.
“There is only one voice coming from Iran and that voice says we will not negotiate about our missile power… Therefore we won’t negotiate!” he concluded.
Fuad Izadi, a political pundit close to Khamenei’s faction, attacked the opposing faction for the defeat of its negotiations initiative. “Our problem is with our own domestic, West-aligned figures who look to the West. The result of this approach is that many things that need to be done inside the country have not been carried out. This look to the inside and the domestic potentials are ignored. How many years has the country been waiting for the Americans to do this or that? To remove this or that sanction? Or Europe to do this or that, and we are still in the middle of it?” he added.
On the other hand, Abbas Araghchi, First Deputy to the regime’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, expressed hope that “Japan will probably be able to make the Americans understand the current circumstances,” referring to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned 3-day visit to Tehran next Wednesday.
“We hope that Abe’s visit to Tehran will help decrease regional tensions,” Araghchi added.
Nevertheless, Fereydoun Majlesi, a retired Iranian diplomat close to Rouhani’s faction, refers to a much more important fact about the reasons why Tehran cannot negotiate with the U.S.
“It would be far from the truth if we thought that the diplomatic mediation campaigns launched by various countries would lead to a dramatic decrease in tensions. These tensions have reached a critical and sensitive point on both sides, including an ideological confrontation. There is no doubt that in order to decrease tensions of such levels of confrontation, we need a complex, detailed and of course, long lasting process. Therefore, you can’t do serious work in the short-term to decrease tensions,” he said.
Dubbing the ruling mullahs’ expansionist policies as their “ideology”, Majlesi adds: “When Tehran and Washington are in an ideological and strategic tension against each other, and tensions have reached a point where Iran’s victory practically means America’s defeat, and America’s victory means Iran’s defeat, it appears that tensions have reached a point where mediation is not possible.”