Iranian regime’s behind-the-scenes talks in Brussels?
May 16, 2018 - The last phase of Iranian regime foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s latest foreign trip, after China and Russia, placed him in Brussels in talks with the European Union.
Iranian regime outlets are canvasing an image of major decisions being made by Tehran during this trip, going as far as saying, “Zarif’s two-month ultimatum for the Europeans.” The Iranian regime boasts of enjoying the capability of walking out of the nuclear deal if the Europeans refuse to cooperate.
European Union foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini said on Tuesday after meeting with the foreign ministers of France, Germany, United Kingdom, along with Zarif, that the EU cannot provide any legal or economic guarantees regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the deal is formally known. Mogherini said EU’s actions will be announced in the coming weeks.
Terms such as Zarif’s “ultimatum” for the Europeans is obviously intended to save face and lift spirits inside Iran. As a result, it is quite obvious that the Iranian regime can only choose to succumb to Europe’s four conditions or face the consequences of U.S. sanctions.
Mogherini’s remarks indicate Zarif’s visit ended in failure, unless secret talks took place behind the curtains of overt discussions. There is no source, as of yet, confirming such speculations. Signs, however, indicate such a possibility that should be taken into consideration.
Keyhan daily, known as the mouthpiece of Iranian regime supreme leader Ali Khamenei, referred to “Agreements and secret negotiations between Europe and Iran.”
The state-run Sharq daily also called for full authority to the diplomatic mission in these talks.
It is a known fact that Zarif himself cannot enter secret talks over enormously sensitive issues. Such a trip and negotiations would certainly be under Khamenei’s direct supervision.
Considering the fact that the entire issue is very vague, a variety of possibilities can be placed into
- Zarif is seeking discounts on Europe’s conditions.
- Zarif will secretly inform the Europeans their four conditions are accepted without any public announcement. Zarif will also ask the Europeans to act as the middle party between Washington and Tehran.
- Direct talks between the Iranian regime and the United States are in progress, using the European talks as a cover-up. These negotiations will either be pursued by Zarif himself or former Iranian regime foreign minister Kamal Kharazi, seen in Paris recently.
In such a scenario, the Iranian regime may be fueling domestic disputes to provide a smokescreen for its clandestine negotiations in Europe.
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