Official website of Iran’s Supreme Leader reports on the history of direct negotiations between Iran and the USA.
The former Ambassador of Iran to Iraq and the head of the Iranian negotiation team with the USA, Hassan Kazemi Qomi described Americans in the negotiations as “Not sincere, Irrational and inconsiderate”.
In an interview with the website of the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, He cited that Americans proposed talks to Iran in 2007 only because of the increasing crisis in Iraq and the tremendous failure of the USA in Iraq by taking the wrong policy.
“The US will face problems everywhere in the world unless they respect other countries’ interests, norms and social and cultural structures,” The then Iranian ambassador to Iraq added.
The Ambassadors of Iran and The US met to talk about Iraq in 2007, which was the first direct talks between the two countries since the Iranian 1979 revolution.
Hussein Amir Abdollahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African affairs and a member of the Iranian negotiation team to the US in 2007, also had an interview with the Ayatollah Khamenei’s official website.
“Iran’s Supreme Leader pointed out in 2007 that those talks were an exception due to the situation in Iraq,” he said in answer to a question on how Iran accepted such negotiations with the US.
He added that Ayatollah Khamenei gave instructions to the negotiation team and said, “You should be wise and rational, you should not seek results at any cost, and our principals must be guarded.”
“Our red line, according to the Leader, was to negotiate only for the issue of Iraq and nothing else,” Amir Abdollahian said.
“Americans made some irrational moves, during the negotiations and after it. They used propaganda before the negotiations and accused Iran of intervention in Iraq’s domestic issues, followed by accusations during the talks. Iran’s negotiation team, entered talks with a rational view, despite the US’ illogical approach to solve the problems of Iraq.” He added.
“After the negotiations, Americans began to ascribe their own negative attributes to Iranians and wanted to impose their own will in this manner. In their propaganda they pretended that Iran was told that they should not intervene in Iraq and Iran bowed.”
Amir Abdollahian believes Iran did not have a good experience of negotiations with US.
“Americans acted hastily. They think they should reach a conclusion very soon. Because of their dominating attitude, they think it is their right to develop the agenda. But the Iranian team did not let them. We stood our ground and asserted that the agenda should be developed by both sides.”
“Americans don’t negotiate with Iran in a logical manner. When they heard our rational ideas, they didn’t have an answer and walked away.” He added.
Amir Abdollahian said that one of the other problems at the first direct talks between the two countries was that the American team didn’t have sovereignty in decision making. “While we were given carte blanche, the American team didn’t have this freedom, despite the fact that there were representatives from significant organizations like the Pentagon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CIA.
Last month, Iran’s Supreme Leader, in reaction to the readiness of certain US officials for direct talks with Iran, denied the proposals and labeled them as “Irrational and not Sincere”.
“[Negotiations are not meaningful] when one side does not show his good intentions. You yourselves refer to this as pressures and negotiations. These two things are not compatible. You want to point the gun at the people of Iran and say; negotiate or we will shoot,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a Speech to Air Force Commanders and Personnel on February 2, 2013.
After this speech by Iran’s Leader, the head of the negotiation team with the US in Iraq, criticized those in the country who supported talks with the US. “Those who are eager for negotiations with the US should know that the US does not want to untangle problems through negotiations,” Kazemi Qomi said in an interview with the Official website of Iran’s supreme leader.
The other member of the Iranian negotiating team also thinks that the ball is in the US’ court. “They have sent new signals in Obama’s new term. But the ball is in their court and they should decide to act upon the rational dialogue of Iran,” Amir Abdollahian reiterates.
“If you ask me about the US’ willingness to negotiate, as a person who has had the experience, I would say they are willing, but they are not intending to solve the problem.”
“What they have shown in action is that they are out to belittle the Islamic Republic. They want to compensate for their failure in West Asia and the Islamic Awakening, and for that, they want to undermine the great status of Iran.”
“We are not opposed to negotiations, but negotiations have conditions. The Islamic Republic’s sovereignty should be maintained in any talks.”
He reiterates on two facts mentioned by the Supreme Leader and says, “We have had a bitter experience in talks with the US in the past. And if Americans are sincere in their talks, they should agree to the conditions proposed by Iran; they would then definitely see the logical and wise approach of Iran.
But Amir Adbollahian is not optimistic about the talks being held and says, “It’s not expected that our expectations will be met, and we don’t anticipate a positive outcome from the current foreign policy of the United States.”