Need to Keep Option of Talks on JCPOA Open
EghtesadOnline: Negotiation is the foremost tool in international relations to advance national interests and Iran should not brush it aside as it’s an option to address issues concerning the 2015 nuclear deal, an expert said.
"Iran needs to be ready for negotiation at any given time and under any conditions, and even propose different solutions that would result in a win-win situation and serve the country's national interests," Mehdi Zakerian, an international affairs expert, said in a recent talk with ISNA.
The nuclear agreement, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has been a subject of dispute since the United States unilaterally pulled out of it last year and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran’s economy that the remaining parties, particularly Europe, have been unable to counteract despite their pledges.
After a year of what was described as “strategic patience”, Tehran began to scale back its commitments in phases in response to the US exit and European incapability, Financial Tribune reported.
The JCPOA disruption has sparked the criticism of domestic elements opposed to negotiation with the West in general and with the US in particular.
Zakerian, however, stressed that dialogue should always be considered an option in the country's foreign policy.
"While it is important when, with whom and with what vision negotiation is pursued, irrational prejudice against it has no foundation," he said.
He noted that the period before the next American presidential election is the best time to engage in talks and win concessions from the administration of US President Donald Trump who intends to increase his chances of victory.
"Trump is under public pressure for violating JCPOA and that could offer a chance to alleviate the situation surrounding Iran's nuclear plans during the pre-election period," he said.
Zakerian also expressed approval of the government's plan to reduce JCPOA commitments, saying it has had some positive results despite not producing the desired outcome.
"First, we have shown that we are an independent country and will not pin hopes on Europe, Japan, Russia and others," he said.
"Second, each time Iran took a step, Europeans set up a new initiative to keep Iran satisfied and convince it to refrain from taking further measures or sent mediators in this regard.”
Iran has so far implemented three phases of its reciprocal plan and has said the fourth step will be taken in early November if its economic concerns are not met.
Some are concerned that Europe could show a harsh reaction and trigger the dispute resolution process in the United Nations Security Council that could end up with a so-called snapback of UN sanctions on Iran within 65 days.
The lawmaker said there is no worse measure that the western countries can take against Iran, which they have not already adopted.
"Sanctions worse than those of the Security Council are being imposed by the US against Iran," he said.
Zakerian noted that this would be a wrong move because they need to fix the problem from within the American foreign policy system instead of the UN Security Council.