Iran: Khamenei’s regime backs down from its demands in Qatar talks
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union, visited Iran on the evening of Friday, June 24, to urge the Iranian leadership to ratify a draft agreement that would revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Borrell declared that nuclear talks would soon resume upon his arrival in Europe. The nuclear talks will take place this week, the regime’s foreign ministry’s spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh announced on June 27. He also said that the United States had promised to ensure Iran’s economic gains from the JCPOA.
Khatibzadeh stated, “During Mr. Borrell’s visit to Tehran, detailed talks were held. Mr. Borrell said on behalf of the United States that the Americans were committed to acting within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adhering to its commitments in this regard, ensuring Iran’s economic cycle of recovery from the revival of JCPOA, and resolve the remaining disputes.”
Many of the regime’s media outlets and some of its hard-line officials subsequently referred to these comments as a disgrace.
On June 28, while quoting Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta that negotiations will be held in Qatar, the state-run Kayhan daily wrote, “Iran is ready to give up one of its main demands in the nuclear talks. Iran does not oppose keeping the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) on the list of terrorist organizations but expects that the sanctions against the IRGC’s internal structures be weakened, but observers doubt that the Biden government can even agree to this option.”
The administration of Raisi was forewarned by Kayhan managing editor Hossein Shariatmadari. “Negotiation in Qatar is a trap. You should not reward the United States. Westerners expect the system to welcome the continuation of negotiations (i.e., retreat) in the face of the US-European trap,” he wrote. “The start of indirect talks between Iran and the United States in Qatar, Kayhan continued,” sends the wrong signal to the other side.
Kayhan became frustrated and asked Raisi, “Didn’t the 13th government say we wouldn’t tie our livelihood to the JCPOA? Raisi wants to negotiate with America, so why? Despite the dire circumstances in which Iran finds itself and the struggles of its people, the Iranian Resistance’s actions have compelled Ali Khamenei, the leader of the regime, to send a negotiator into this “trap.” Regardless of how the negotiations turn out, this is a reality that is approaching.
Kayhan listed a few of the setbacks the regime has endured recently:
- The IAEA Board of Governors’ anti-Iran resolution.
- The activation of Zionist intelligence services.
- The assassination of Martyr Sayad Khodaei.
- The sabotage of nuclear facilities.
- The most recent petrochemicals-related sanctions against Iran.
- Iranian tanker cargo being stolen in Greek waters.
- Announcing an award for information about the IRGC.
Fearing a complete collapse, Khatibzadeh attempted to defend the regime’s choice by claiming that “nothing will be added to or subtracted from the Vienna Accords” and that “the talks are not about the “nuclear dimension” and will only be about “the few remaining issues in the lifting of sanctions.”
Khamenei has once more agreed to a humiliating retreat in order to preserve his regime, which is mired in a quagmire of domestic and international impasses. But nothing will change, and the most recent nuclear negotiations are not likely to result in a win for the regime.
The regime announced on June 29 that the indirect negotiations with the US government had ended in failure. This was expected given the regime’s inability to take a step back. Khamenei has repeatedly stated that any retreat will result in the collapse of the government. This is precisely what Shariatmadari was warning about.