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Iran…No Negations for the Negotiation’s Sake

Iran…No Negations for the Negotiation’s Sake

Friday, 16 April, 2021 - 11:00

Away from the discourse of defiance and provocation that seeks to pressure the parties to the nuclear deal negotiations in Vienna- which constituted part of Iran’s escalation after the mysterious sabotage of the Natanz nuclear site in Tehran and Iran’s direct and explicit accusation that Israel was behind the attack- Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s latest speech put constraints on Iran’s abstinence. The supreme leader acknowledged the risks posed by long-running negotiations as he said that: “The talks shouldn’t become talks of attrition..they shouldn’t be in a way that parties drag on and prolong the talks. This is harmful to the country.”

The Iranian supreme leader is aware of the dangers of negotiating for the negotiation’s sake and that this is a process that would run the clock and tighten the chokehold on the regime, which is facing internal pressure as a result of the deterioration of Iranians’ living conditions because of the sanctions that Washington seems unwilling to lift or reduce per the conditions put forward by Tehran. This worries the centers of decision-making in Iran, which is faced with a dilemma. Either it exits the negotiations and decides on a costly confrontation whose results cannot be guaranteed, or it continues to negotiate, which would mean succumbing to the Americans’ shakedown; this would involve attiring that could impose significant concessions that would impact the regime’s structure and its position internally.

In Vienna, the Iranian team sits at the nuclear negotiating table under the pressure of grave internal crises as the Iranian market suffers from a shortage of basic commodities and the salary crisis in several state sectors continues, with teachers and pensioners among the most prominent aggrieved parties, in addition to industry’s disruption, Iran’s inability to export oil, a declining financial situation that has led to high inflation and a sharp decline in the national currency’s value.

Before the Soviets agreed to German unity, basic goods had begun to disappear from Soviet markets, the Soviet economy was in recession, and the state’s coffers had been emptied by the war effort and military production. Thus, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, resorted to asking former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for a four billion German Mark loan so that he could pay state employees in exchange for removing the Soviet impediments on German unification. However, a warning sent by the White House pushed the German chancellor to demand that Moscow OKs that reunified Germany joins the NATO, which Gorbachev approved, but Washington prevented Bonn from lending Moscow, hitting two birds with one stone. The first concerned the reunified Germany’s geopolitical and geostrategic position, placing it in the European Union and NATO, and the second was tightening the economic and financial screws on the Soviets. This accelerated the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Before the second round of talks kicked off in Vienna, White House Press Secretary Jane Psaki has affirmed: “We are very open-eyed about how this will be a long process.” Meanwhile, apprehensive Tehran does not have the luxury of taking its time, and the regime’s pride has stood in the way of accepting some of the facilitation offered by Washington. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said that “the offers Iran received during the nuclear agreement negotiations Vienna (are not worth looking at).

Based on the above, it does not seem that this round of negotiations will yield no results, but they do not inspire optimism. All sides are clinging to their conditions, while a real breakthrough requires brave concessions that the regime cannot make. At the same time, Washington cannot take the initiative because it is facing several constraints imposed by Congress and its international partners.

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