Direct talks subject to verifiable sanctions lifting, guarantees

January 25, 2022 - 21:57

TEHRAN — For the past two days, Iranian officials have been saying that Iran doesn’t object to direct negotiations with the United States. However, direct dialogue is subject to some pre-requisites.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that the United States had sent several messages to Iran to sit down and directly negotiate with Iran. He further noted that a direct negotiation with the U.S. is possible, provided the talks would reach a stage that requires a form of dialogue.

“The United States sends messages calling for direct talks with us. Our talks with the United States are through (European Union’s Enrique) Mora and one or two JCPOA member states in Vienna. We did not have any direct negotiations (with the U.S.) at all. However, if we reach a stage in the negotiation process where reaching a good agreement requires having a dialogue with the United States at some level, we will not ignore it,” the foreign minister noted.

Also, on Monday night, spokesman for the Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said that Tehran doesn’t rule out direct negotiations with the U.S.

“Iran doesn’t object direct negotiations with the United States, provided they show goodwill. So far, they have proven the opposite,” Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini told the national TV. 

Similarly, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said on Tuesday that way of interaction with the Americans will change only if “a good agreement” is possible. 

“So far contacts with the American team present in Vienna have been through unofficial letter and there has been no and there will be no need for something more than this. This way of contact will be replaced with other ways only when a good agreement is within reach,” Shamkhani tweeted.  

Iran has never ruled out the possibility of the direct negotiations with the United States, but Tehran has preconditions for direct negotiation. These preconditions include putting an end to the maximum pressure campaign, lifting the sanctions verifiably, give the necessary guarantees not to violate the agreement or mock international law again.

Monday night’s pulse was misunderstood by the Western mainstream media, as they mainly paid attention to the shell, not the pearl inside the shell. The Western media tried to create a hype about the notion of direct negotiation itself. However, it seems they are negligent toward the meaning of those words. What the Iranian officials believe in is that the U.S. has been screaming for direct talks with Iran for almost a year, and Iran has given its own responses. Direct negotiation with a bully has never been part of Iran’s foreign policy, as the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei put it at a televised speech with the people of Qom on January 9.

“Sometimes, we negotiate, talk, and interact with the enemy, for example. This is another matter. The Revolution tells us that one should not give up in the face of bullying and the words of the enemy. We have not surrendered until now, thankfully, and it will be the same afterwards. This is one of the principles (of the Islamic Revolution),” the Leader remarked.  

A clear path has been drawn for the United States now. You sought to have direct talks with Iran, now you have got your chance. The United States must remove the sanctions verifiably, end the maximum pressure campaign, and give tangible and clear guarantees that it will not renege on its commitments.

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