FNA – Brother of former Iranian president, late Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, warned that the government should never make a mistake by sitting to the negotiating table with US President Donald Trump as he is not trustworthy.
“If they decide to negotiate with Trump, it would be a mistake because Mr. Trump has not complied with his undertakings and he even took off his signature at the airport after the G7 meeting,” Mohammad Hashemi Rafsanjani, also a former member of Iran’s Expediency Council (EC), told FNA on Monday.
He said that Trump is after theatrical acts rather than developing an understanding during negotiations, adding that instead of talks with Trump, the Iranian officials should try to create further unity and integrity in the country.
In relevant remarks last week, former Iranian interior minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari blasted Washington for violating international agreements, including the 2015 nuclear deal, stressing that talks with the US would not benefit Tehran’s interests.
“Under such conditions that the US administration is not committed to the implementation of international agreements, including the nuclear deal, speaking of talks with the country is meaningless,” said Mousavi Lari, the interior minister during former reformist president Seyed Mohammad Khatami’s tenure, on Saturday.
“Of course, I believe that negotiation has always been the best solution to meet the country’s interests but under such circumstances that the other side does not favor talks at all, sitting to the negotiating table cannot meet the country’s interests,” he added.
Trump said on July 30 that he would “certainly meet” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani without preconditions, a move that was later rejected by Trump’s own administration.
Speaking during a joint news conference with Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, Trump said he would meet Iran “anytime they want to”. “I’ll meet with anybody,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with meeting.”
Asked whether he would set any preconditions, Trump was clear. “No preconditions, no. If they want to meet, I’ll meet any time they want,” he said. “Good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”
After the comment, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to contradict Trump, listing preconditions that had to be met first.
He told CNBC that “if the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it’s worthwhile to enter in a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said he’s prepared to sit down and have a conversation with him”.
Also, Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the president’s National Security Council, later said in a statement the US would not lift any sanctions or re-establish diplomatic and commercial relations until “there are tangible, demonstrated, and sustained shifts in Tehran’s policies”.
“Until then,” he said, “the sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course.”
Hamid Aboutalebi, one of Rouhani’s advisers, set his own conditions for any meeting with Trump, saying “respect for the great nation of Iran”, returning to the nuclear deal and a reduction in hostilities were needed first.
Also, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari dismissed Trump’s call for negotiations with Tehran, reminding him that Iran is totally different from North Korea.
“Mr. Trump! Iran is not North Korea to give a positive response to your demand for a meeting. You should know that the Iranian nation…will never allow their officials to negotiate and meet with the Great Satan,” Jafari wrote in a letter.
He described Trump as an unskilled president in politics, and said, “The former US presidents who were either military men or politicians knew much better than you or they learned that Iran and the Iranian people cannot be threatened and rather grow united and single-hearted against any threat and pressure by foreigners.”
“You will take this wish to the grave to see the day when the Islamic Republic of Iran demands for a meeting with you or is allowed by the nation to meet you. You will never see that day,” General Jafari said, addressing Trump.
He underlined that the next US presidents will not see another day when the Iranian officials sit to the negotiating table with them either.
General Jafari said that the Iranian nation will resist until it achieves final victory and inflicts ultimate defeat on the arrogant powers by withstanding the cruel and inhumane sanctions thanks to the divine promises, huge internal resources and the leadership of a wise leader.
Trump announced on May 8 that Washington would no longer remain part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and promised to re-impose the highest level of economic sanctions against Iran.
The sanctions reinstated on Iran on May 8 included boycott of Iran’s crude supplies and bans on transfer of its crude revenues. There is a 180 days interval before these sanctions come into effect. Other US secondary sanctions are reinstated this month.
After Trump’s declaration, the Iranian government issued a statement, calling the US withdrawal as “unlawful”. The statement underlined Iran’s prerequisites for continuing the deal with the five world powers. These conditions that were reiterated later by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei later mainly included Iran’s guaranteed crude sales and transfer of its revenues back home.
Two months later, the other five powers party to the nuclear deal have failed to satisfy Iran. President Hassan Rouhani voiced his disappointment over a recent package of incentives proposed by the European Union countries to Tehran, and said that the Islamic Republic expected a much better, clearer and explicit stance by the EU.
“Unfortunately, the EU’s package of proposals lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments like the previous statements by the European Union,” President Rouhani said in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on July 5.
President Rouhani pointed to US’ unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, and said, “After the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has been dealing with economic issues and problems in banking relations and oil, and foreign companies that have invested in Iran are skeptical about continuing their business.”
The Iranian president, however, said that the package proposed by the three European countries (the UK, Germany, and France) on how they are going to live up to their commitments and cooperation under the JCPOA was “disappointing”.
President Rouhani reiterated that the JCPOA was a mutual commitment, and said, “Iran had expected a clear plan from the three European countries after the two months’ time they have been given to come up with solid guarantees to ensure Iran’s economic interests would continue to be met despite US pullout and reinstatement of sanctions.”
The Iranian president, however, said that Tehran would continue cooperation with Europe if the outcome of the July 6 Vienna talks would be promising.
“If the process of the European foreign ministers’ meeting in Vienna, which is aimed at encouraging Iran to cooperate, is promising, we will continue our cooperation with Europe,” Rouhani added.
But the Vienna talks on July 6 among foreign ministers from Iran and the five world powers (Russia, China, Germany, France and Britain) failed to satisfy Iran with senior officials in Tehran complaining that the Europeans had offered nothing new to ensure Iran’s continued merits under the deal.
On July 8, the Iranian parliament’s research center has readied a comprehensive plan that includes a detailed list of policies and moves to fight off sanctions as Washington sped up attempts to rally international support for intensified pressures on Tehran.
The comprehensive “active anti-sanctions plan” that has been compiled at the parliament research center after long studies and consultations with experts from Iranian research and academic centers, traders and entrepreneurs is now under study by senior Judiciary, Parliament and Government officials for a final editing.
The program that mainly aims to make the country “unsanctionable” has been developed in contrast to the US sanctions program and has reportedly been edited seven times so far, several MPs told FNA.
Information obtained by FNA reveals the program offers a package that also involves social and cultural measures to reinvigorate the country’s economy and infrastructure against the US sanctions that come into effect from 90 to 180 days after their re-imposition and seek to wear off Iran’s economy step-by-step.
The plan also entails specific time-based nuclear, security and political leverages that would be enforced in reprisal for enemy threats, while it also envisages transient waivers that could be extended, halted or annulled based on relevant decisions by authorities.
The plan to make Iran sanction-proof includes detailed measures in two 90-120 days and 180-210 days periods in various areas of monetary, banking and currency sector, liquidity management and deterring middlemen disruption and negative interference, optimized forex reserves management, facilitated money transfer in the international market, reduction of intermediary currency role, strategic commodities, budget resources and use, energy, business, trade, structures, culture, society, media and legal affairs.
Meantime, several other plans have also been compiled by university and research centers for improving economy through reinvigoration of national potentials to make the country sanctions-proof.