“An official of one of the neighboring countries has recently brought a message from the US president to our country’s officials,” member of the parliament’s presiding board Mehrdad Bazrpash told FNA on Monday.
A different source later revealed that the letter has been delivered to Iran by Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi during his recent visit.
Stressing that Washington and Obama, himself, need a nuclear agreement with Iran, Bazrpash said Washington is in a more dire need of an agreement than Iran.
He further pointed out that the US hypocrisy in its secret messages and in the public has ruined the wall of trust between the two countries. “The contents of the United States’ private messages to Iran are different from what the American officials say in the public”.
“In their private messages, they respectfully demand the Islamic Republic of Iran to come to the negotiating table and make an agreement but they threaten Iran in their media and before the eyes of their own and other countries’ people,” Bazrpash said.
His remarks came as media reports said on Sunday that the US is still raising more demands a few days before a July 1 deadline comes to an end, and evades endorsing fulfillment of the undertakings it accepted under the April 2 Lausanne agreement.
Three months after the Lausanne statement was issued by Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) to specify a framework agreement, the Americans are still asking Iran to make more concessions and are bringing up more excuses to avoid lifting the sanctions altogether as enshrined in the Lausanne agreement and even their own factsheet, western media reports showed.
While not much detail has been released on the behind-closed-door negotiations between the two sides, reports in the western media and sources in Vienna said that the US has reneged on its Laussane undertakings and has once again demanded modifications in the number of Iran’s operating centrifuges, timetable for Research and Development (R&D), prolonged removal of the sanctions and the places and people that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should get access to.
Analysts blame the US low-balling for the prolonged talks despite three months of intensive negotiations, warning that Washington and Paris stonewalling moves could endanger the negotiations.
In relevant remarks on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined that Iran and the world powers can reach a final nuclear agreement if the western parties to the negotiations recognize and respect Tehran’s rights and remove the sanctions against the country.
“We have come to Vienna to reach an agreement which fully respects the Iranian nation’s interests and rights and will be a good agreement for the entire world,” Zarif told reporters upon arrival in Vienna yesterday where meetings between the Iranian and the G5+1 representatives are being held to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal.
“We are sure that if the other side accepts to recognize the Iranian people’s rights and acts upon its undertakings, that is to say it removes the sanctions against Iran and fulfills its part of the undertakings concurrent with Iran’s measures and avoid raising excessive demands, we will certainly reach an agreement which will be beneficial to everyone,” he added.
Zarif, meantime, downplayed that the negotiators are feeling increasing pressure as the July 1 deadline to reach an agreement is getting closer, and said, “Only reaching a good agreement and proper results is important.”
Also on Friday, the Iranian top diplomat underlined that Tehran is looking for a lasting and fair final nuclear agreement in Vienna.
“We go to Vienna to achieve a lasting and fair deal,” Zarif told reporters.
He pointed to the recent statements of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on the nuclear issue, and said, “As the Supreme Leader has reiterated the Iranians are seeking an honorable agreement and they will not tolerate excessive demands.”
On Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran wants a deal, but a fair one that includes simultaneous gives-and-takes of equal weight.
“The Americans are seeking to destroy Iran’s nuclear industry and on the opposite side everyone in Iran, including me myself, the government, the parliament, the judiciary, the security and military bodies and all other bodies, are after a good agreement, that is a fair, just and honorable deal in line with Iran’s interests, while stressing on (the country’s) redlines,” the Supreme Leader said, addressing a meeting with heads of the three branches of power and senior state and military officials, where he elaborated on Iran’s redlines and policies in the nuclear talks in explicit words.
The Iranian leader first reminded the history of the negotiations, and said Iran started talks with Washington over its nuclear issue after the US president urged Tehran during the former Iranian administration via a third party to start bilateral talks.
He said the US realized it had been left with no other option but to raise such a request after it saw that all its heavy pressures on Tehran had failed to bring the country to its knee.
Ayatollah Khamenei said while the Americans had vowed to terminate all the sanctions in 6 months, when the talks started “the Americans changed the 6 months to one year first, and then lengthened the negotiations by making repeated excessive demands and even threats to boost the sanctions and speaking of militarism and on and under the table”.
The Iranian Leader then presented his assessment of the trend of the talks, and said, “Contemplation and study over the trend of the demands made by the Americans shows that they aim to uproot Iran’s nuclear industry and the country’s nuclear essence and change it to a caricature and a window without a content.”
He said “the Americans mean to destroy Iran’s nuclear industry … and somehow keep the pressures and sanctions at the same time”.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Washington’s main objective is to make Iran surrender and become a dependent nation, specially considering that Iran is a role model for other countries, and they renege and bargain so frequently and break their promises so often for the very same purpose.
He said negotiation and deal means give and take, but “we have stated since the very beginning that we want the cruel sanctions be removed, of course, we accept to give some points in return but on the condition that the nuclear industry is not halted or harmed”.
Elaborating on the redlines, he said, “Opposite to what the Americans insist on, we do not accept long-term 10 to 12 years restrictions and we have told them the acceptable number of years for limitations.”
Ayatollah Khamenei described continued nuclear research and development during the period of limited nuclear activities as Iran’s second redline, saying “They say that we shouldn’t do anything in the 12-year period, but this a doubly wrong and bullying word.”
He then pointed to Iran’s third redline, and said, “All the economic, financial and banking sanctions, no matter they are related to the Security Council or the US Congress or the US administration, should be terminated immediately and right at the time when the agreement is endorsed, and the rest of the sanctions should also be removed in rational intervals.”
The Leader said the US has put forward a complicated, multi-layered and estrange formula for the termination of the sanctions with no guaranteed result for Iran, “but we state our points in very explicit terms”.
“Termination of the sanctions should depend on the fulfillment of Iran’s undertakings; they should avoid saying that we should do our undertakings and then the Agency (IAEA) needs to verify them before the sanctions are removed, (because) we absolutely do not accept such a thing,” he underscored.
The Iranian Leader further reiterated that sanctions removal by the powers should correspond to the undertakings that are fulfilled by Iran, meaning that the sanctions that are to be removed should carry the same weight, value and arrangement of the undertakings that Iran fulfills.
“We oppose the condition that fulfillment of the opposite side’s undertakings depend on the IAEA (verification) report because the Agency has proved time and again that it is not independent and fair; hence we have a pessimistic view about it,” he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the West says before removing the sanctions ‘the Agency should be ensured’, “what an irrational word this is, how could it make sure, unless it inspects every inch of this land.”
He then reiterated his definite opposition to “unconventional inspections, interrogation of Iranian figures and inspection of military centers”, citing them as among Iran’s other redlines.
The Iranian Supreme Leader underlined that Iran would never accept a deal at any price, saying, “We are seeking to remove the sanctions, but we see them as an opportunity from a different angle because they have caused us to pay more attention to domestic forces and capacities.”