Former diplomat warns against negotiation with U.S.

May 1, 2019

TEHRAN – The United States is trying to force Tehran back to the negotiating table, and if that happens, Washington would be the winner of this game one way or the other, former Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi has said.

They would claim that Tehran was forced by Washington to accept its conditions for dialogue, Asefi said in an interview with the Arman newspaper published on Wednesday.

“In other words, bringing Iran to the negotiating table means humiliating Iran,” he added.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have intensified since the Trump administration withdrew last year from an international nuclear deal with Iran and began reimposing sanctions. Last month, the United States blacklisted Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and demanded buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May or face sanctions.

Pointing to the recent remarks by IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani who has warned against any negotiations with the U.S., Asefi said the Americans are not after reaching a solution through negotiations but want to show to the world that Iran has surrendered.

General Soleimani had said on Monday that “through economic pressure the enemy wants to bring us to the negotiating table but such a negotiation would be an example of surrender; however, our people are vigilant and clever and believe that negotiation in the current conditions is pure surrender and we will not give in to such an indignity,”

Asefi further said Washington is making every effort to demoralize the Iranian nation and foment unrest inside Iran.

The only way to counter the United States’ unilateralism is to resist against its anti-Iran pressure campaign, the former diplomat suggested.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Asefi, who served as Tehran’s ambassador to France and the UAE, said it is not in Iran’s national interest to let Saudi Arabia and other regional countries move toward the U.S.

“We should try to point out the mistakes and wrong strategies of these countries to them,” he said, adding, “Putting regional countries beside the Zionist regime and the U.S. is not a very good strategy for [Iran’s] foreign policy.”

The Saudis should know that the Americans see them as financial resources and they will get rid of them as soon as they become disposable, the former diplomat asserted.

MH/PA

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