In a move might have been encouraged by the Iranian government, several commentators and former diplomats have called for the resumption of nuclear talks.
The pundits, who felt they could express their views in the local media, also supported an interim agreement with the United States which they said could be a positive achievement for Iran.
Former diplomat Ali Majedi advised the government in a commentary in Etemad daily, “not to be afraid of negotiations as Iran’s foreign policy needs a serious development.” He added that an interim agreement could be a prelude to returning to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The idea of an interim agreement is a suggestion made by the United States which says it is currently not planning to return to the JCPOA, wrote Etemad.
Majedi said that a change in foreign policy has started with an agreement with Saudi Arabia to resume diplomatic ties after seven years of tensions. Majedi added that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s remark about Iran not holding a grudge against Europe in his Iranian New Year address could be a green light to Iranian diplomats to start settle the differences over the JCPOA.
However, Khamenei later said in an early April speech that Iran should look for partners other than the United States and Europe.
Majedi, however, was not sure about the nature of an interim agreement and “what it means? Whether it is for six months or longer? Whether it can be extended?” Iran has previously dismissed an interim agreement emphasizing that it accepts nothing other than the 2015 agreement.
Majedi reiterated that if Iran can return to the agreement with the West and have the sanctions lifted, it would help its ailing economy. He added that “For its own interests, Iran’s leaders should trust their negotiators no matter if the talks can or cannot be fruitful.”
Meanwhile, another former diplomat , Abdolreza Faraji Rad suggested that “Iran and the United States had better start confidential negotiations,” adding that “they might be able to reach an agreement if they talk face-to-face.” The latest rounds of negotiations between Iran and the United States were indirect talks with European mediation, but the talks were suspended after Russia invaded Ukraine and Khamenei explicitly supported Russia and later Iran sent drones to be used against Ukraine.
Faraji Rad added that the idea of an interim agreement and a new round of talks with the United States was put forward months before US media broke the news.
Taking the lead in the opposition to an interim government was IRGC-linked newspaper Javan which has always opposed any negotiations with America.
He said the United States and Europe are still not interested in renewed talks with Iran, but they have been mulling the idea of new negotiations in a bid to dissuade Iran from supporting Russia in the war against Ukraine. They believe winning Iran’s heart with a Plan B including lifting some of the sanctions and allowing more oil exports could entice Iran to stop uranium enrichment at 60-percent level.
In another development, media commentator Hassan Beheshtipour said, “an interim agreement can be a temporary solution as a long-term agreement is impossible without holding negotiations with the United States.”
Beheshtipour, however, maintained that “an interim agreement cannot solve Iran’s economic problem.” He added that the most Iran can win in such an interim government is releasing its $7 billion frozen assets in South Korea.
He said, “Iran should nonetheless welcome the agreement if it helps solve its economic crisis. Otherwise, if Iran thinks it won’t face a major economic issue in the next four or five years, it can always wait for a more comprehensive agreement and a better solution.”
Source » iranintl