As Iran’s hopefuls returned to their statements about the imminent return of nuclear
negotiations, the US urged new President Ibrahim Raisi to resume negotiations to revive the
2015 nuclear deal. State Department spokesman Ned Price warned that the diplomatic
window would not remain open forever.
“We urge Iran to return to the negotiations soon,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told
reporters. “If President Raisi is genuine in his determination to see the sanctions lifted, well
that is precisely what’s on the table in Vienna,” he said.
Everything confirms that the Iranian mullahs have returned to the game of prevarication and exhaustion on the American side.
The Iranian foreign minister had confirmed two weeks ago that a return to negotiations was
imminent. He came back to say that Tehran will make the decision to return to negotiations on
the nuclear deal based on the practical behavior of the Americans, not on the basis of their
mixed messages to Iran.
In his explanation of the retraction of his country’s “very soon” return to the nuclear
negotiations, Abdullahian said there was a difference between Tehran’s interpretation of the
word “soon” and that of the West.
“In the meetings we had, some people insisted on setting a date and wondered what it meant soon, how many days, how many weeks, how many months do we mean when we say soon,” he said.
“Soon means that once we finish studying the record of negotiations and their previous
rounds, we will resume them,” he said, “and these are traditional quirks known to all
followers of Iranian diplomacy.”
This confirms that there is an Iranian willingness to retaliate against Western capitals in this
deliberate manipulation that Abdullahian himself reminded the Europeans of in his remarks,
“The Instex mechanism of financial exchange, which they promised us would be implemented
soon,” and merely emphasized that there is a willingness to return to what he called “serious
The mullahs want to respond to Western capitals, which have long stood up to former
President Trump’s administration, seeking to tighten sanctions against the mullahs. This is
despite the fact that the Iranians are certain that the implementation of the Instex mechanism
would not be delayed due to a European political stance, but would have resulted in
significant losses for European companies as they would be subject to US sanctions.
Analyzing this elusive Iranian position, the impact of Abdullahian’s recent visit to New York
(to attend the UN General Assembly meetings) is clear: throughout Abdullahian’s five days in
New York, he met with approximately 50 political figures. He met with media outlets, think
tanks, study centers, and professors from American universities.
In what he described as closed-door meetings with think tanks, studies, and international
relations experts in the US, he discussed what he described as “American behavior.”
“We assured that Iran’s foreign policy is sound, wise, and logical, while haste and irrationality
prevail in the behavior of US policymakers,” Abdullahian said. “The countries of the world
are noticing that the situation in Afghanistan today is part of these erroneous and fruitless
policies of the Americans.”
Abdullahian seems to have learned from these meetings that there is room for the mullahs to
maneuver in hopes of getting the messages he sent in his meetings with White House
decision-making circles across.
Abdullahian also tried to use the angry atmosphere that accompanied the US withdrawal from
Afghanistan, accusing the administration of flopping and sending mixed messages to the
Iranian side through the media or diplomatic channels.
This is not true for the simple reason that there are many official mediators between Tehran
and Washington to allow the Iranians to conclusively verify any American information or
position. Therefore, it makes no sense to say that the reason for the mullahs’ slowdown is the
contradiction of American messages.
This is not a defense of the American position, but a refutation of what the mullahs are saying.
It certainly does not deny that US policy toward Iran is weak and lax. The White House has
yet to develop clear policy alternatives on how to deal with Iran’s constant maneuvers.
There is no alternative US plan for dealing with the mullahs if negotiations fail, other than
continuing the sanctions policy pursued by former President Trump’s administration.
There is also no US plan in the event of a sudden military conflict between Iran and Israel, a
traditional staunch US ally. Will the US intervene directly to protect the people of Israel from
attack by Iran’s sectarian weapons that border the country, or will it simply provide military
support to the Israeli military?
With the Biden administration no longer able to wave a stick at the mullahs after the White
House announced the end of the era of US military interventions abroad, the US no longer has
the ability to manage crises in its strategic interests.
This results not only in emboldening the mullahs and further damaging the status and
influence of the US, but also in the gradual loss of confidence in Washington’s ability to
protect its interests, allies, and friends.