‘US tries to put spin on Iran talks results’
RT:The preliminary deal is signed. Why are there problems now? Were those 18 months of negotiations just useless?
Seyed Mohammad Marandi: The problem really lies with the US trying to put a spin on the results of the negotiations. The US put out a fact sheet that the Iranian Foreign Minister said was in some instances twisted, it twisted the facts. On some occasions in the fact sheet we see dishonest claims being made by the US State Department. The Iranians have insisted from the very beginning, our Foreign Minister, and now President [Hassan] Rouhani said today clearly that if there is going to be a deal all the sanctions must be removed from the very first day. That is the condition that Iran believes is necessary- the Iranians won’t back down from that. If Iran is to make sacrifices or to be lenient with regards to elements of its nuclear program for a period of time, then there is no reason for the sanctions to continue. And the Iranians know that if the Americans are allowed to retain certain sanctions, the Iranians will simply have to chase after them for years to get those removed. So the Iranians are saying: “When the deal is done, the sanctions have to go!”
RT:Why is the issue of how to lift the sanctions becoming so thorny? Surely this was ironed out in Switzerland?
SMM: I think the Iranian negotiating team from the very start ….said that all the sanctions must be removed. Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader said that during the Iranian New Year speech. President Rouhani has said that repeatedly. Also, the Iranians have stressed repeatedly that the Iranian nuclear program ultimately must be normalized after a few years or a period of time when Iran slows down in order to build goodwill. In fact, the phrase that President Rouhani once used was that “Iran will not accept nuclear apartheid” and that all of its rights within the framework of the Non-proliferation treaty must be respected. So, the Americans from the beginning knew the Iranian negotiating position. The Iranians have been flexible. The Americans have to now learn to be flexible…Then I think we will have a deal. It is becoming clear that by the day that the US has made grave mistake by supporting the Turks and the Saudis, and the Israeli regime in this region which has only led to the rise of extremism, Wahhabist groups- it is leading to a global security risk… Americans need Iran in order to stabilize the region if that is their intent. And it is the Iranians that have stopped ISIL, al-Qaeda groups in Iraq and Syria…
RT:There are other problems like the reduction of the uranium stockpile, and installing cameras in Iran's nuclear sites, something Iran's opposing. Is the West trying to wrestle more out of this deal, or is Iran trying to shift the goalposts?
SMM: No, it’s Washington. The Iranians have said from the beginning that anything that threatens Iranian sovereignty won’t be accepted. Iran will make concessions, Iran will be flexible. But, for example, having online cameras is not an option. Why? Because the IAEA in the past received intelligence about Iranian scientists, they met Iranian scientists; they passed this information onto Western intelligence organizations. And our scientists were assassinated; they were murdered as a result of the collusion between the IAEA and the West. This is something that President Rouhani has said specifically today.
RT: What other potential problems do you think might appear in the coming months between Iran and the world powers?
SMM: The problems will not be between Iran, Russia, and China. The Russians and the Chinese have so far shown a much more reasonable attitude towards the Iranian nuclear program. Both the Russians and the Chinese have said repeatedly that Iran has never been perusing anything but a peaceful nuclear program and they have stated that they want a solution to the problem.
The real problem lies with the Western powers. The problem that may lie in the coming weeks and months is Western countries misinterpreting the situation in Iran. Iran is not negotiating from a position of weakness, Iran is negotiating from a position of strength – Iran is the most powerful and the most stable country in this part of the world. It is unlike countries like Saudi Arabia which repeatedly occupied countries like Bahrain, or bomb people in Yemen; or the Israelis that invade country after country, Iran has never attacked any neighboring country. Iran is a peaceful country, it is stable, and it strong.
Therefore, when the US sees that Iran has been flexible, it should look at this positively, and it should reciprocate. So far we have not seen the flexibility needed by the American side in order to come to a final solution to the nuclear negotiations- that is the real problem. Americans have to rethink their policy towards Iran.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.