Basij Commander Calls on Iranian Negotiators to Leave Talks If Faced with Excessive Demands
Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi urged the country’s team of negotiators to leave the nuclear talks with the world powers if the western parties embark on raising excessive demands in the next round of the negotiations.
“A group has been sent to the negotiations on the nuclear issue; now if they can restore all rights of the nation, they will be supported; otherwise, they should leave the negotiating table as soon as they are faced with the other side’s excessive demands,” Naqdi said, addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday.
Elsewhere in his remarks, he said Iran’s position on the US stands at national levels and can never be decided by a government or party, reminding that “Iran and the US have existential differences”.
Naqdi also said on Saturday that 11 years of nuclear talks would be enough to strike a final deal, unless the West only meant to just seek excuses for its animosity towards Iran.
“If they (the world powers) were to come to an understanding (with Iran), 11 years of negotiations would be enough,” Naqdi said.
Noting that nuclear negotiations have prevented the Iranian foreign ministry from pursuing its main goal which is expansion of relations with other world nations, he said, “We cannot continue this situation forever since there are other world countries that we should establish ties with.”
Elsewhere, Naqdi downplayed the effects of sanctions on Iran’s progress, and said the country enjoyed different natural, energy and human resources to become self-sufficient and independent from other states.
Also last Tuesday, Naqdi said that any nuclear deal with the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) which doesn’t include removal of all sanctions would be unacceptable to Iran.
“It is much clear that any agreement without the concurrent annulment of all sanctions is completely unacceptable,” Naqdi said, addressing the Iranian Air Force commanders and personnel in Tehran.
He stressed the importance of last Sunday speech of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, who said Iran would never accept a bad agreement with the world powers, and said, “The maximum and heroic flexibility of the Islamic Republic in the nuclear negotiations revealed the United States’ true intentions; the most stupid people can now understand that the US should be blamed for the failure of negotiations.”
Naqdi also referred to the remarks by certain US officials that the sanctions against Iran would be annulled gradually during the next several years, and said the removal of embargos, for instance, after 10 years had no benefit for Iran.
If a country can be administered under sanctions for the next 10 years, then it can cope with such a situation after that too, he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei underlined last week that Iran would never accept a bad agreement with the world powers, but the country was in favor of a single-phase comprehensive deal which would respect the Iranian nation’s inalienable rights and entail all details.
“I agree with an agreement if it can be struck, but I disagree with a bad agreement,” the Supreme Leader said in a meeting with the commanders and personnel of the Iranian Air Force and Air Defense in Tehran.
He pointed to the US officials’ remarks that “disagreement is better than a bad agreement”, and said, “We believe the same and we believe that not agreement is better than striking an agreement that would harm the national interests and pave the way for humiliating the great Iranian nation.”
Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the efforts underway by the Iranians to remove the sanctions in their talks with the six world powers, and said, “If this happens and the enemy gives up the weapon of sanctions it will be very good, but if this doesn’t happen there are (still) many ways to slow down the impact of the US-led embargoes.”
The Supreme Leader reiterated that even if the sanctions are kept in place, their impact can be alleviated through paying appropriate attention to available means and industrious efforts.
The 10th round of negotiations between Iran and the six world powers was held in Vienna from November 18 to 24, where the seven nations decided to extend the talks until July after they failed to strike an agreement.
The latest round of the nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers was held in February.
Both Iran and the G5+1 negotiators have underlined that cutting a final deal before the July 10 deadline is possible.