EghtesadOnline: The "undeniable" benefits of a dialogue between Iran and the United States should be considered by the country's authorities in a wider context, says a political analyst, who argues that Tehran should help Washington find a face-saving way out to end the confrontation.
"All the pros and cons of a possible meeting between the Iranian and US presidents should be studied, and a decision should be made based on what best serves the country's interests," Reza Nasri also told ISNA.
Speaking to reporters at a G7 Summit in the French resort of Biarritz on August 26, US President Donald Trump said he would meet his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, under the right circumstances to end a confrontation that began after Washington pulled out of Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and reimposed sanctions on the OPEC producer, Reuters reported.
French President Emmanuel Macron, host of the G7 Summit, told the same news conference that Rouhani told him he would be open to meeting Trump, according to Financial Tribune.
Rouhani said a day later that Iran is always ready to hold talks but noted that it will not talk to the United States until all sanctions imposed on Tehran are lifted.
But Trump ruled out lifting economic sanctions to compensate for losses suffered by Iran, which he described as a country of "tremendous potential".
Nasri, an expert on international affairs, said Iran has "logical" reasons to rule out talks with the US administration as it maintains that there is no guarantee Washington would abide by a new agreement, there are anti-Iran officials in Trump's inner circle who could obstruct the negotiation process and that Trump wants to curb Iran's military power.
"In addition, Iran believes that Trump wants to use a dialogue with Iran only for election purposes and to increase his prospects of reelection, and the overall assessment is that any assistance that could result in his reelection would be detrimental to the country," he said.
"Iran's reasons are logical, but I believe that, in addition to these considerations, we should help provide the other side with an escape route and a face-saving way out of this self-made crisis."
The analyst noted that talks between the Iranian and US presidents have certain advantages, which should be weighed against its disadvantages to reach a "balanced" conclusion.
"This assumption that a photo opportunity between Trump and Rouhani could fulfill all of Trump's ambitions and would be seen as a defeat for Iran is not completely correct," he said, adding that Iran should assess the situation from a more "comprehensive" and "practical" perspective.
Nasri argues that one of the "undeniable" benefits of dialogue between Iran and the Trump administration is that Tehran's success to hammer out a "sustainable" agreement with a "hardline" Republican government could shield it for decades against hostile moves by the US Congress or anti-Iran lobby groups.
"A reasonable agreement with Trump's administration could lead Congress to end primary and secondary sanctions against Iran and assure investors that cooperating with Iran and in Iran will not put them in trouble," he said.
Nasri further said Trump is likely to make certain concessions as he wants to prove that he could resolve the 40-year-old confrontation with Iran in a short period of time.
The analyst also said no one will regard Iran's agreeing to talks with the US as a sign of "surrender", considering Trump's multiple direct and indirect attempts to meet Iranian officials.
It should be noted that rejecting talks over a long period of time will turn the public opinion and other governments against Iran, he said, adding that one solution could be to arrange talks between Iranian and US presidents within the framework of a "trilateral" meeting with the participation of the French president or other senior officials.