The main reason for this animosity stems from their respective divergent political mindsets; each looking at the world from a different angle. Iran declaring itself as an egalitarian modern, independent nation state with ethical and religious values and the US depicting itself as a savior of liberalism. Both have global aspirations but with different goals and aims. Iran aspiring for generalization of justice, fairness and equality among world nations while the US striving for expanding hegemonism. Beside the difference in the worldviews, Iran is a status quo and an influential regional power but the US is an expansionist big power trying to become the sole one.
Ever since the revolution, Iran has been insistent and steadfast on safeguarding its sovereignty and rights, including the development of peaceful nuclear technology as its inalienable right.
However, the US exercising its influence internationally began to use the fabricated nuclear issue as a pretext against Iran and imposed inhumane sanctions against our nation. Utilizing their formidable mass media, they began a futile attempt to turn this pretext into a widespread public belief and subsequently use it as an instrument of political pressure.
The sanctions were everything but effective and it was Iran’s resilience which left no option to the previous US administration other than coming to terms with Iran. Within this environment the then secret track two negotiation based on request by the US administration through the Omani interlocutor began in 2011 and after two rounds of negotiations the U.S through the intermediary (Sultan of Oman) informed Iran of its intention and readiness to recognize Iran’s enrichment right.
These negotiations culminated in a nuclear deal called the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). After about two years since its implementation the new US administration withdrew from the deal with the excuse that the deal has been the worst in its kind in all American history. This being the case, Iran’s response had been one of strategic endurance. However, the US kept on increasing the sanction pressure which eventually lead Tehran to begin exercising its right as envisioned in paragraphs 26 and 36 of the deal and thereby suspending parts of nuclear limitations set in the deal so as to remedy the lost balance between its rights and commitments until Europeans rectify the imbalance.
The US after many acerbic comments against Iran and the declaration of twelve irrational and submissive demands, eventually came to its senses and yielded to the facts on the ground and reduced its demands to only a specific one. President Trump iterated a number of times that their only demand is for Iran to denounce the possession of Nuclear Weapon. On the other hand, Iran traditionally never trusting the US administration’s promises and commitments has so far categorically refused any direct negotiation, because there is absolutely no guarantee that such second round of negations wouldn’t face the same fate as the first one. As the supreme leader has reiterated, “no direct negotiation under pressure and that such negotiation is poisonous.”
The main question now is “is there a way out of this impasse?”. Certainty, the continuation of the current dire situation—without any exaggeration—would lead into undetermined and appalling consequences. Surely, such an unpleasant circumstance is not welcome by us.
Yet, there may be a solution taking into consideration the aforementioned constraints, namely, “no direct negotiation under pressure” on the one hand and “denouncement of Nuclear Weapon possession” on the other hand. The solution may lie in simultaneous revocation of all US sanctions and Iran’s denouncement of production, accumulation and use of Nuclear Weapons—as previously declared in a decree (Fatwa) by the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei in 2009 and having been registered in the United Nations in 2013—through a joint statement by the head of states of 4+1 plus the US and the Islamic Republic of Iran. This mechanism that does not entail direct negotiations could possibly pave the way for future to hopefully make up for the confidence and trust lost all during the past decades.
* Article by Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), originally published on Le Figaro on July 9, 2019, in French