The recent relative calm over the crisis between the United States and Iran, and the decline of language of threat and intimidation in the statements of the two parties, coincided with the movements of intermediate parties seeking to open a path to dialogue away from the tone of escalation that prevailed in the media and politics. About two weeks after the low level of mutual threat between the unites states and Iran and the decline of military option in the region , US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington was ready to hold unconditional talks with Tehran, the second after president Trump, who invited the latter from the Japanese capital Tokyo to sit at the negotiating table .The invitation of Pompeo comes from Switzerland – the patronage of American interests in Iran – after the postponement of the administration of US President Donald Trump tough sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector, according to what was conveyed by “people familiar with matter ” to the newspaper as part of the administration’s efforts to ease the escalating tension with Iran.
The postponement followed tensions between Tehran and Washington over the past few weeks, after US accusations that Iran was probably behind sabotage, targeting oil tankers off the coast of the UAE, and a harsh speech by President Trump towards Iran when he said ” Iran will officially eliminated if it decides to launch attacks on US interests in the region.
It is worth mentioning that the Petrochemicals are the second largest Iranian exports after crude oil. The US Treasury Department has already announced that it plans to impose sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector. The US decision to impose sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector would have done more harm to the Iranian strategic sector and then Tehran’s economy will enter into a deeper crisis, according to the American newspaper.
Iran’s response from the Foreign Ministry was quick that “our basic criterion is American behavior on the ground, not politicians’ statements” , but President Rouhani, as expected, stipulated certain condition , “mutual respect” for negotiations with Washington, stressing that no ” “Dialogue and negotiation without this , and Rouhani who raises ” the slogan of dialogue and negotiation to resolve the outstanding problems” during his election campaigns, he said it is Washington that left the negotiating table “and must return normal state,” raising the ceiling of dialogue with them high, while his Foreign Minister ruled out any negotiations with America.
Meanwhile, General Yahya Rahim Safavi, military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, said that “US military ships in the Gulf are in the range of our missiles,” adding that Trump is well aware that he will be the loser in any war against Iran and that the Iranian armed forces are on standby to respond to any attack.
For its part, the Revolutionary Guard confirmed in a statement on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini, that Iran will not surrender to the embargo and pressure, and that this sensitive historical stage will continue, describing the American regime as “Pharaonic and dictatorial.” While former Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi considered negotiations with the United States irrational and impossible, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army Admiral Habibullah Sayari said negotiations on Iran’s missile capability are impossible.
No one wants a war against Iran. Neither Washington nor the capitals of the region nor the capitals of the world nor Tehran of course. What is officially released so far from the United States is that Washington, especially the internal public opinion, is not pushing for a military campaign similar to that against the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. No one in Iran wants war, or at least a direct war against Iran in its geographical borders. The generals of the Revolutionary Guard can threaten and shouting , and one of them can promise us that the United States will be defeated, and that it will evaporate, and another one to tell us the demise of the State of Israel, but this chaos in statements does not conceal confusion within the Iranian leadership, led by its leader and its foreign minister , that it ruled out the war and seeks to persuade Iranians and calm them that there is no disaster to come to Iran.
In Beirut, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah also declares that there is no war to come and that the enemy can not wage that war. However, in contrast to his first prophecy, he argues that any war against Iran will ignite the whole region. Whatever the threat, we will witness a psychological war and a tough statements that will ease the boredom surrounding the crisis between Washington and Tehran.
The three summits in Mecca – the Gulf, Arab and Islamic – showed a unanimous support for the Saudi position and support for the American position on Iran. Iran seems to be lacking the support of the international and regional environment, and seems isolated that pulls out any cover Tehran can rely on in its efforts to break its current predicament.
It seems clear that China and Russia can not take a supportive position against Tehran against an international mood that is unable to live with the Iranian reality according to the version that has been in place since the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. It seems clearly that China and Russia are unable to take a position to back Tehran against an International mood that has become unable to coexist with the Iranian reality according to the version that has been in place since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, and it appears that the European Union is on the brink of solidarity with the American position if Tehran withdrew from the Vienna agreement Nuclear signed in 2015.
There is nothing to indicate the outbreak of war, even rocket fire targeting Israeli targets and retaliating by Israel targeting sites inside Syrian territory does not signal military chaos, but rather the exchange of cautious, highly disciplined messages that keep tension within its low limits. Even an intense contemplation of the conflict in its military face leads to the exclusion of the war by chance or error, as the parties of conflict are keen not to be reckless, fully absorbed in the details of the military scene in the region, which does not lead to a direct major clash. The overwhelming language is the language of negotiation. It seems that this word is flourishing these days, regardless of whether it is empty of real content, or that it expresses a background workshop of readiness for a table of negotiations that will inevitably come.
For his part, the professor of political science at the University of Tehran, Mohammad Mradi excludes any direct or indirect negotiations between Iran and America in the current circumstances, stressing the existence of mediation by the US through some parties, as Tehran told them her terms for dialogue with Washington, the return of America to the nuclear agreement and its implementation of all its obligations under the agreement. He notes that the United States made a mistake in the assessment, thinking that the Iranian regime will collapse from the inside if it exerted the maximum pressure, or that Tehran will be subject to dictations, stressing that Washington did not guess well the reaction of the Iranian people, and this is what made it to decline from the escalation, but the US retreat is no longer sufficient for the Iranian side.
It is believed that Iran considered to be sitting at the negotiating table with the US harming its national interests. It is as if to giving concessions to the other side. It also encourages Washington to violate international treaties, let alone the volatility of American behavior.
The Iranian academic adds that the Iranian side has made great concessions during the nuclear negotiations, but America has broken the agreement, asserting that Tehran is moving towards freezing more of the terms of the nuclear agreement in response to the US withdrawal from it and imposing an unjust embargo on the Iranian people.
As for the Japanese prime minister’s planned visit to Tehran next week, Merndi said that it was undoubtedly part of President Trump’s talks in Tokyo and expressed his conviction that it would not lead Iran to reverse its previous positions.
He points out that the US decline has proved to public opinion that Washington is not serious in its threats to Tehran, and that America is afraid to go to war with Iran because of its high cost.
He believes that there is a direct relationship between the recent American escalation against Iran and the century deal to liquidate the Palestinian cause. He says that igniting the American war in the region will damage the oil and gas facilities and will lead to the removal of US forces from the region and the closure of Strait of Hormuz will be a small part of the Iranian response
Observers of Iranian affairs believe that the Iranian mediation and exchange of letters between Washington and Tehran is going on in full swing, stressing that “America is striving to change the rules of the game and negotiate with us, and this is what we do not want.” And that Iran required the return of America to the nuclear agreement and lifting the US embargo for the dialogue with it, adding that Washington “wants dialogue with us in exchange for reducing the escalation and remove the specter of war from the region,” without fulfilling the Iranian conditions that Tehran insists. And that an American message provides that Trump is ready to remove John Bolton, his security adviser known of his enmity to the Islamic Republic, and says, “We do not trust America, and we believe Trump wants to negotiate with Tehran to exploit in his campaign in 2020.”
They also believe that Iran will not enter into new negotiations with the United States until the latter returns to the nuclear agreement, no matter how well Washington has paved the way for negotiations, but at the same time it is not unlikely that the Trump administration will meet the Iranian conditions and pave the way for new negotiations, similar to what we have witnessed prior to the signature of nuclear agreement in 2015.
Tweets and Readings
Director of the Arab Center for Iranian Studies Mohammed Saleh Sedqian said On a social networking platform, many Iranians reacted to Pompeo’s call for dialogue with Tehran without preconditions. “The mediation between Tehran and Washington seems to have been put on the track: Switzerland and Japan are on the line. Wednesday, the Japanese Prime Minister in Tehran. Trump is said to have agreed to write a private message to Imam Khamenei will be conveyed by the Japanese .. Tehran is still insisting on lifting sanctions before any dialogue … and the nuclear agreement first.
While some have argued that reducing the US escalation is due to Washington’s fear that Iran will target its warships, others have spoken of the possibility of a US return to the nuclear deal and negotiations in a third country. There are those who point to Tehran’s rejection of Washington’s 12 conditions to negotiate with it in 2018. He said that Iran’s steadfastness against the American blackmail at the time had led to Trump’s retreat from its positions on Iran.
Khamenei insists that Iran should not negotiate under pressure, but the history of the Islamic Republic points to the opposite. In the past, when external pressures were growing to a large extent and local stability was at stake, the Iranian leadership was looking for a way to mitigate it and the associated costs .That is what happened when it decided to end the war with Iraq in 1988, to stop the assassination of dissidents in Europe in the 1990s when it was threatened with sanctions, and to offer a nuclear settlement in 2003, three weeks after the Iraqi army was defeated by US forces, when the Iranians feared they would be the next, In 2012, when Iran agreed to communicate with the United States via back channels after the Obama administration stepped up sanctions on Iran’s central bank and the Europeans stopped buying Iranian oil.
Do we see this scenario repeated with Trump? The prevailing wisdom is that the Iranians want to wait for the end of Trump’s term and deal with his successor. This is almost certainly Khamenei’s preference, but much depends on the amount of economic difficulties that the Iranian people are believed to be able to bear.
If Khamenei feels that he must ease the pressure and choose to enter into negotiations, it is almost certain that the talks will be indirect – direct talks would be as if to recognition of defeat. It is likely to use of an intermediary like Vladimir Putin that it will be accepted by both the Russian leader and Trump.
But what kind of agreement would Trump be prepared to conclude? This is unlikely to be in line with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12 terms of negotiation: the Iranians consider these conditions to be equal to the demand for regime change. During his visit to Japan, Trump was clear that he was “not seeking regime change”. Instead, he stated that his goal was “nuclear disarmament”, leaving room for maneuver. But in fact, Trump’s only criterion for any agreement seems to be the one that applies to most presidential issues: the deal must be better than Obama’s.
A clear improvement in the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan might be to extend the “sunset clauses” that limit Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, for example, from 2030 to 2045. This step would postpone any potential Iranian nuclear threat to a distant stage in future. But it will not deal with the regional threats resulting from Iran’s efforts to expand its proliferation and strengthen its coercive methods against the Arab regimes and Israel .This will require convincing Iran to limit its military presence in Syria and stop supplying Hezbollah and other agents in Lebanon and Syria with precision guided missiles and missiles.
But the Iranians will not make these concessions free of charge, as they will seek to lift all sanctions, both nuclear and non-nuclear. This may require Trump to choose the volume of concessions he is willing to provide. Obama was not prepared to lift sanctions on human rights and terrorism. Trump is likely to be reluctant to do so as well. However, it may be concluded that gaining time (15 more years) and reducing the likelihood of a regional war in the interim are two important achievements in itself. The greatest irony is that the maximum pressure, as practiced by Trump and Khamenei, may push them in this direction – provided that their misjudgment does not lead them first to a greater conflict.
Washington is seeking by all its pressure tools to force Tehran to sit at the negotiating table on the conditions set by its foreign minister, Pompeo, without preconditions from Tehran. According to special information obtained by the Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies , Washington is trying to persuade permanent members of the Security Council to issue Strong statement against Iran If the investigations related the attacks on Fujairah and the attack on Aramco and attempt to target the US Embassy in Baghdad were linked to the involvement of Iran , if this statement issued in line with the US orientation, thus, the countries that have been attacked on its oil and diplomatic and economic facilities have the right to sue in international courts against Iran, which will result in the payment of a very large financial compensation for those countries.
Thus, what is witnessing by the world , the mobilization of aircraft carriers and naval fleets from the West towards the Arabian Gulf, the Strait of Bab al-Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz and the alertness in most American bases in the region, this is only a process of pressure towards Iran to drag it towards negotiations in a new formula to replace the nuclear agreement 5+1 between Iran and the West, to become a bilateral agreement 1 + 1 between Iran and America and under new conditions. There will not be a comprehensive military campaign and as the world saw it with the aim of overthrowing the regimes, as happened in Iraq and Libya years later, it is not the goal of the West to topple the Iranian regime, who themselves launched its hand in several Arab capitals and made its influence in order to create chaos and further division in the interests of their interests.
The goal is to force Iran to move towards bilateral negotiations with the US and with Russian mediation due to the cross-cutting interests of the three parties. The Russian factor is of great importance because of its historical relations with Iran since the Iranian revolution. All that is going on and what will happen in the future will not depart from the implicit understandings between Washington and Moscow, which aim to limit the Iranian influence in Syria in the future while Assad remains in power, which will not be a problem of importance under his current and future formal authority .
The goal is not a military clash with Iran, but there may be some skirmishes from some parties or even some deliberate or accidental harassment, but they will remain under US-Iranian control to speed up or slow Iran’s access to the negotiating table. And America’s main goal to limit Iran’s missile capability , whose range is reaching Israel and Europe and American military bases in the region, as well as the termination of the Iranian nuclear program and the elimination of it completely and without a doubt, to ensure the security of Israel specifically.
The Iranians know that very well , they are not naïve or weel as some might imagine , but the have huge experiences in negotiations , patience and endurance , they know well that there will be no all-out war against them in order to change the regime that has long served the West for 40 years. The economic blockade imposed by Trump will not affect the Iranian decision as a system to the extent that might make the Iranian street , ruled by iron and fire by the Revolutionary Guards , able to change the regime.
Iran knows the mentality of the trader and the negotiator who has a lot of pressure or play cards, learn how to deal with the mentality of the American trader, and know well that it is coming to the table of bilateral negotiations with America and the Russian and European help factors, Europe will not be able to emerge from under the American cloak, It does not go beyond the media statements from here and there, and this is what Iran recently realized.
Tramb ‘s bargaining talk to Iran recently and its call for negotiation and without preconditions is very different from the threatening escalation rhetoric that has been used in addressing it since his election campaign. It may reflect some of the perception that contradicts the military moves towards Iran and may generate some perception in the policy shift towards it. , But the truth is that in the manner of traders “both dealer” must be exhausted all the methods of “carrot and stick” to bring it and in any form to the , “bilateral negotiations table ” again, while save face (preserving facial face ), and Iran will come willingly and forcibly as long as it believes that its influence will not be affected And its actual presence through the militias in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen will remain based on power and the reality on the ground, and its survival is always in favor of America and Israel because it represents a threat and concern to the neighboring regimes and peoples and, which is always required.
If Washington does not want war, why are all these huge military buildup and this show of force? And if Iran is ready for negotiations, why have not you sat on the table so far? … And if it’s about the deal of the century, most of which was achieved, and does the little part of the deal of the century that is to be announced needs all the hype ?!! .. There is a US engineering process to re-demarcation of the Middle East has been cooking for some time … Is started by Trump management before its maturity?!. Washington’s call for an alternative agreement turns Iran into a “normal” state, surrounded by simplification and naiveté. The Islamic Republic has not founded to be a normal state. Any retreat from the current cloth of the Wali al-Faqih in its doctrinal, ideological and sectarian dimension leads, in the perception of the Tehran regime, to the fall of the regime.
International Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies