Larijani

No backchannel communication between Iran, US: Larijani

MNA – Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that there is no backchannel communication between Tehran and Washington.

Asked by NBC’s Lester Holt whether he could confirm such forms of talks between the two countries, Larijani said “I don’t confirm this. There is no backchannel communication.”

Lester Holt is visiting Iran and he has already held several interviews with senior Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Zarif, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, CBI Governor Hemmati, and Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani.

When Holt asked about the possibility of talks between Iran and the US in the first place, Larijani said, “If you were in our shoes, would you do the same thing?”

Iran accepted President Obama’s offer for talks because we felt that Obama was following some principles in his policies, said Larijani, adding, “he was our enemy but was a wise enemy. And it’s easier to interact with a wise enemy.”

Iranian Parliament Speaker stressed that if the US wants to talk with Iran, it needs first to come back to JCPOA and bargaining table.

US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from Iran nuclear deal, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 while all IAEA reports indicated that Iran was complying with the deal. Washington then imposed sanctions on Iran in what is called a ‘maximum pressure campaign’, targeting Iran’s oil sales at its core.

One year after US withdrawal, Iran announced that it is reducing commitments to the deal since the agreement needs a balance and that a multilateral deal cannot be implemented unilaterally. Tehran’s measures in introducing cuts to the JCPOA are in the framework of the deal and it says it will reverse all these steps as soon as other parties can safeguard its economic benefits which are being damaged by US sanctions.

Meanwhile, Washington claims that it is ready for talks but Iran says these claims proved to be empty when Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif who is in charge of any negotiation.