Thursday, April 16, 2015

Khamenei Redefines Iran's Red Lines

Since the Iranians now see that the USA wants an agreement almost at any cost the Iranians view this as a weakness to be exploited. As Lt.-Col. (ret.) Michael (Mickey) Segall notes, Khomeni has not lost any time in redefining the Iranian red lines. 

Following my own career involving wage negotiations with militant Trade Unions in the UK, it is clear that any negotiating advantage the P5+1 had at the start of the framework negotiations has been given up without receiving anything positive in return.  
  • On April 9, 2015, Iran's top leaders, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, took firm positions on new red lines for the ongoing nuclear negotiations: immediate removal of the sanctions as soon as the agreement takes effect; opposition to special monitoring and inspections of Iran’s military sites and missile program; and non-intervention in Iran's ongoing assistance to "resistance" organizations around the world.
  • Khamenei's remarks were intended to counter the public-relations campaign of President Obama who portrayed the West's achievements both to Middle Eastern public opinion and in the United States itself. Whereas Iran's opening positions are rigid, the West, in the latest talks, has already shown how far it is willing to go for a signature on an agreement.
  • Khamenei has already stated that Iran's involvement in the region, including its assistance to "resistance" elements, is not part of the negotiations, and Iran is not required to put them on the agenda. Such words reflect Iran's growing confidence as its regional and international status improves, and its defiant conduct will likely put it on a collision course with the countries in the region.
  • The IRGC commander's support for the agreement on the one hand, and on the other, the opposition of some conservative Majlis members who are associated with Ahmadinejad, may indicate disagreement within the conservative camp and possibly within the IRGC.

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