(Persia Digest) – Iran’s former ambassador to China believes: “There is evidence that Iran has to enter new nuclear negotiations which in addition to the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) may also include other issues such as regional developments.”

Iran’s President in a recent phone conversation with his French counterpart said that the US can attend the 4+1 negotiations if sanctions are removed.

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Iran’s former ambassador to China, Mohammad-Hossein Malaek, told Persia Digest (PD): “These comments can be considered as a stepping stone for holding fresh nuclear negotiations. All international evidence including the opinions of US Democratic candidates and remarks made by countries that are allied to Iran or not have indicated that Iran must begin new nuclear negotiations. However, this may take place this year or in two years.”

Noting that it is not clear what position China or Russia would take regarding Iran’s new nuclear moves, he said: “Recent remarks by [Abbas] Araghchi, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, show an outside reality which is that the JCPOA is no longer reliable. This can have two contradictory reasons. Either Iran robbed Europe and the US blind during the nuclear talks and now they are cancelling the deal or, according to Tehran, Europe has gained more benefits than it deserved from the deal. In any case, the two sides are encouraged to obtain more guarantees for the nuclear deal. As it has become clear now, Iran has no guarantees vis-à-vis the US withdrawal from the JCPOA or Europe’s non-commitment to its obligations.”

The expert on Iranian foreign policy also stressed: “The scope of topics to be discussed in the new nuclear negotiations have not been clarified yet, but I believe regional issues will be discussed and this does not necessarily mean that Iran will be the only side giving concessions. The JCPOA experiment has proved that win/win accords are a possibility.”

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Asked why Iran will not start new talks sooner to lift economic pressures, Malaek said: “It’s because the other party is an unreasonable person. If the present team at the White House had shown any rationalism or stability in its behavior, it would have been possible for the new round of negotiations to be held sooner. But it is quite clear that the talks will not take place during Trump’s administration since the US is seeking an unconditional surrender and change or elimination of the Islamic system in Iran.”

He stressed that the problem will probably last for another five or even ten years in case of Trump’s re-election. “We do not know who the next person in the White House will be and how s/he will negotiate; but under the present circumstances, Iran is only trying to foil the negative effects of the moves made by the other side. So far, the policy of “No talks, No war” has been working. This policy creates a new atmosphere in which even the US can withdraw from its stance.”

The former high-ranking Iranian diplomat added: “Iran’s approach for a step by step reduction of its nuclear commitments is not unreasonable. Increasing uranium enrichment will not be problematic. But since Europe also believes that increasing enrichment is equal to making a bomb, they use the word ‘tension’ to refer to Iran’s recent measures while Iran can give a new definition for what it is currently doing. Based on China’s One Road-One Belt strategy, 30 new atomic power plants are to be constructed in the next 10 years; therefore, as a country that can provide the fuel for those power plants, Iran can say the objective behind its move (increasing enrichment) is to enter the market and supply fuel for those power plants in its own region.”

He added: “Iran can announce its measures as new amendments as this is a possibility provided for in international agreements. Iran is alone on this road and Europe is not going to help.” 

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