Monthly Archives: July 2013

Velayati on Negotiations

There’s been some discussion about comments by Ali Akbar Velayati (foreign policy adviser to the SL) during a June 7 Presidential election debate about what he described as the Ahmadinejad government’s diplomatic shortcomings, but I haven’t seen any references (not that I looked very hard) to another interview which Velayati which was published the same day. Read the whole thing, but here’s the part about Iran’s relationship with the P5+1:

In negotiating with foreign countries, including the P5+1, it is very important for the negotiating diplomats to enjoy multilateral domestic support. The other issue is to use all the existing capacities in our country at the expert level in the nuclear negotiations. Nuclear negotiation is a very sensitive matter and Iran’s prominent diplomats are well-equipped to deal with this matter. Our negotiating team in talks for Resolution 598 of the United Nations, which consisted of the skillful experts of the Foreign Ministry, succeeded in ending a very complicated negotiation with Iraq and the UN with honor. Nuclear negotiation is not more complicated than the Resolution 598 negotiation. By using all of our expert forces, we will be able to succeed in the nuclear issue as well. We pursue dialogue and are ready to seriously enter quality negotiations without wasting any time. I am sure that if the other party also shows its honesty, we will be able to remove the concerns of both sides through talks.

Even though he didn’t win, it’s reasonable to believe that Velayati’s opinion counts for something.

Follow up on 2004 Rouhani Speech

I said about a month ago that I would say more about the 2004 Rouhani speech. At the time, I point out that the speech was given in the early fall of 2004, not 2005, and claimed that

I’m not (just) being pedantic here; the date of the speech matters from a substantive standpoint. But I’ll address that in a later post.

Well, it matters because the 2004 speech is only part of the story; one needs to examine the manner in which Iran dealt with the E3 after the speech…although Rouhani was obviously no big fan of suspension, he ultimately agreed to the November 2004 Paris agreement, which was considerably more expansive than the October 2003 agreement.