MEK Iran: Nuclear Deal Negotiations Reveal Regime Weakness
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), that the Iranian regime’s approach to the Iran nuclear deal is full of contradictions and self-serving statements.
While the U.S. and European signatories to the deal are willing to renegotiate the deal with firmer terms, the regime’s leaders disagree on both the terms of the deal and whether to go forward with negotiations at all. This rift is on full display in these leaders’ public remarks.
Opposition to a new nuclear deal
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has been the loudest voice in opposition to a new nuclear deal. In July 2020, he said: “When the Americans say, “Let us negotiate,” this is what they want to negotiate over. I strongly ask everyone to pay attention to this. Of course, I have repeatedly spoken about this, but I have to say it again because some people do not understand or pretend that they have not understood it.
Build long-range missiles
“When the enemy says, “Let us negotiate,” it means “Come and sit at the negotiating table so that we will instruct you not to build missiles, which you have to accept of course.” If you accept their terms, well, you will be ruined as you have actually rendered yourselves defenseless. And if you do not accept their terms, there will be the same story: there will be more skirmishes, more sanctions, and more threats. This is what negotiation means. The reason why I say that we will not negotiate with the U.S. is that it is pointless.”
On February 23, Khamenei referred to negotiations as a way of taking power away from the regime. “The issue of nuclear weapons is an excuse. They even oppose our access to conventional weapons because they want to take the components of power from Iran,” he said, according to the state-run Etamad daily.
“The Islamic Republic will not retreat in the nuclear issue like other issues, and it will move forward with strength in the direction of what is the interest and need of today and tomorrow of the country,” he added.
Long-range missiles programs
In earlier comments on May 14, 2019, Khamenei worried that if Iran gave up its long-range missiles, the signatories to the nuclear deal might attack the defenseless nation. “They say let’s negotiate about your defense weapon, why build a missile with a certain range. Reduce the range so that if we hit you, you cannot hit our base and answer!” he said.
“Well, it is clear that no ruthless and intelligent Iranian will not negotiate about its strengths. Or, for example, they say let us talk about the depth of your strategy in the region. That means to lose it. So, the principle of negotiation is wrong, even with a reasonable person. They are not reasonable people and they do not adhere to anything. Of course, no one of our intellectuals wants to negotiate,” Khamenei added.
Khamenei’s position is that it would be foolhardy to negotiate a nuclear deal, despite the fact that the regime signed a deal as recently as 2015. The regime’s recent behavior contradicts this attitude as well. Iran recently signed an extension with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) allowing another three months of nuclear inspections after first refusing to do so.
Contradictory Statements from Rouhani and Zarif
Regime President Hassan Rouhani has signaled his willingness to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, albeit with significant concessions. His statements run contrary to those of Khamenei.
On March 10, Rouhani told state news: “(America) should know that we are also ready for the treaty! We are ready with the whole, we are ready with the parts. We are ready for all the commitment against all the commitment, part of the commitment against part of the commitment. If they (America) return to the treaty, we will return to the treaty. Sanctions are the will of Zionism, are the will of the fundamentalists in the region, we must not let there will be implemented and operational. We explicitly told the White House to come back to the law and do not be embarrassed and know that with your return we will immediately return to our commitments and will stand by the end of the treaty.”
Finally, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has attempted to pressure the U.S. into making concessions by putting a clock on negotiations. He has repeatedly claimed that the “window” for negotiations is closing.
These tactics only serve to show the divisions within the regime and the different forms of desperation for a deal has taken on its leaders. The MEK has made it clear that the regime is faltering under the weight of its own incompetence and corruption. Negotiations for a new Iran nuclear deal have made this more clear.