(Persia Digest) - Donald Trump said he is ready to talk with Iran without preconditions. Previously, Mike Pompeo had outlined 12 points as a new US strategy for talks with Iran. Under the circumstances, is it in Iran’s national interests to negotiate with the US?
In an interview with Persia Digest, Dr Davoud Hermidas-Bavand, former Iranian diplomat and university professor, said: “Article 33 of the UN Charter states that ‘The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice.’ If preconditions are set for talks, this will not be a suitable backdrop for either party to conduct negotiations.”
He continued: “The 12 points set out by the US were an unacceptable, unilateral imposition on Iran. But Trump’s new proposal for talks with Iran is a logical one and must be seriously considered.”
The university professor added: “Heraclitus said 'We step and do not step into the same rivers, we are and are not'”. Lord Palmerston of England also said’ We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual.’ Hence, yesterday’s enemies may be considered today’s friends under new circumstances. Therefore, I believe that unconditional talks must be welcomed and conducted on a win-win basis.”
He added: “Negotiating unconditionally is indispensable for the equality of countries and their sovereignty. The feelings of a nation and the personality of that country should not be violated in negotiations. Iran can now declare it is ready for constructive, unconditional talks, based on what Trump has said."
On Pompeo’s reminder of the preconditions set for talks with Iran previously following Trump’s latest announcement, Bavand said: “Talking about human rights is for US public opinion only. Otherwise, the US has not yet made the slightest comment on the human rights situation in Bahrain. Human rights must be respected as universal values; but they are at times used as a means to an end. Thus, I see no contradictions between what Trump and Pompeo have said.”
About Iran not negotiating with the US while it is going through an economic crisis, Bavand said: “Opportunities cannot be repeated. If we don’t use them we will lose them. If Iran had proposed negotiations, it could have been said that it was due to its economic crisis. But the proposal has been made by the US without preconditions and Iran must assess this with a positive outlook and use it as an opportunity.”
On Hamid Abutalebi’s reaction to Trump’s proposal who said the US must return to the JCPOA, Bavand said: “For as long as Iran does not resolve its issues with the US based on mutual interests, it will continue to face political and economic challenges. So, when there is talk of unconditional negotiations, it must be considered on an equal basis with goodwill. If Iran wants to set preconditions, the US may want to reciprocate. As such, no results can be achieved.”
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