Originally published on Sputnik News
Iran's Supreme National Security Council secretary has said that in case of US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Tehran will resume operation of its frozen nuclear facilities. Radio Sputnik discussed Iran nuclear deal with Dr. Hooshang Amirahmadi, founder of the American-Iranian Council and a professor of public policy at Rutgers University.
Sputnik: Now there has also been some talk of perhaps of re-negotiating the deal. How open is Iran to that kind of possibility and will Iran be open to any discussions?
Dr Hooshang Amirahmadi: I don’t know. Apparently they are saying no, but I do believe they will. In fact that has been my advice to Tehran from day one when Mr. Trump came on board. I told them that Mr. Trump is both a threat and an opportunity. That Tehran should take him in saying that I want to negotiate. After all, the very fact of negotiating with Mr. Trump would have been a positive move for Tehran, because that would have given them an opening to Mr. Trump’s mind and his people.
Unfortunately, Tehran has waited too long, as it does all the time, and I believe at the end of the day they will negotiate again. Unfortunately, under the circumstances that will not be very positive for Iran because that would be under duress.
So that’s where we are. I believe Tehran has already made arrangement with Europeans to make that deal. They do want, Tehran wants to keep JCPOA intact, or at least a little a bit changed, but give Mr. Trump, as Europeans say, a supplemental deal. I believe on that supplemental deal Tehran, at least the government of President Rouhani, and European powers are on the same side and I believe Mr. Macron came to Washington with the understanding that Tehran will indeed give serious attention and perhaps negotiate on those four pillars that Mr. Macron put on the table for Mr. Trump. So again yes I believe we are at the beginning of a negotiation already, that Tehran and Europe have already reached some level of agreement, although others in Tehran are opposed to it, but the government I believe has reached some level of agreement with Europeans and Mr. Macron really took that message to Washington.
Sputnik: What about France, what would you say about France’s position? Are they currently in a better position to negotiate with Iran than the United States?
Dr Hooshang Amirahmadi: Not really. I mean obviously Iran is in no position whatsoever to negotiate with Washington at this stage, because as I said they missed the opportunity that they had a year and a half ago. They have no opening to Washington whatsoever; but with Europe, and France in particular, they do have some opening. But there, again, the relation with France has become a little bit more tense and conflictual than it used to be.
France has played a double game throughout this nuclear deal — at times for it and at times very much stiff and opposed to it. It has played that game to extract more concessions from Tehran.
Indeed the French, along with Britain and Germany, they really played the game of a good cop in this game with Iran and the US. Now Mr. Trump is the bad cop. They are the good cop and obviously the good cop has a better opening with Tehran.
But again, I believe it doesn’t work that much for them because, unfortunately, Tehran now is playing an open poker. All of its cards on the table are being seen. They don’t have much to bluff and the US knows that, that’s only unfortunate.