AIC’s President Dr. Amirahmadi recently spoke with Voice to America about the increasing tensions between Washington and Tehran. The complete audio, as well as a summary of the conversation is below.
Q: On Europe and the JCPOA
A: Europe betrayed Iran. First, by promising Iran that the JCPOA is a permanent deal. Second, they betrayed and lied to Tehran by saying that if the United States leaves JCPOA they would stay and implement their part of the commitment. They did not. Furthermore, they betrayed Iran by coming back to Tehran and saying that now that the US has left, we want to stay but we can’t just tell the US to ‘get lost’ because they have serious concerns about Iran’s behavior – about missiles and presence in the region – matters that were not part of the JCPOA. Now they are saying to Tehran – listen – the only hope for you is to go back to the negotiating table.
Q: On US military build-up and Tehran’s reaction
The fact is that Tehran hasn’t made a [military threat] - at least yet, and I don’t believe it will in the future. [The US military build-up] is a precautionary move. Mr. Bolton is saying that because they want to close off Iran from any interaction from outside, obviously they are concerned that that kind of a policy or pressure may lead to Tehran reacting negatively; with a physical reaction.
Q: On the US goal to renegotiate the JCPOA
I think Mr. Trump’s policy toward Iran is really a good one – honestly. Here is the issue: Mr. Trump’s policy towards Iran has two legs – one leg is negotiation; the other leg is military pressure, economic pressure, all kinds of pressure. So there is a stick – pressure. And there is a road open to negotiation which is the carrot.
Now, Mr. Trump has been very consistent with this policy from day one, saying that he wants to renegotiate the JCPOA. Unfortunately, Iran didn’t take this man seriously. And the reason is because of two groups: First, Europe, which has lied and lied and betrayed Iran. They don’t like Mr. Trump, so they went to Iran and said directly or indirectly it isn’t good to reopen this negotiation. And second is the democrats, and especially Mr. Kerry - who kept telling Tehran that Mr. Trump is temporary and any day or month he will disappear and just wait for us to come and save you and the JCPOA. Tehran, foolishly, believed both groups – Europe and the democrats and stayed away from negotiating with Trump. And now they are paying for it.
Trump was an opportunity for Iran. Mr. Trump is the first president since the Iranian revolution that really put an incredible proposal for Iran on the table – comprehensive negotiation and settlement of issues and normalization of relations. No president before Mr. Trump has used the word normalization of relations. They always refused to say they will normalize.
Q: What can Iran do now?
Go back to the table. It’s very simple. I think Tehran is not in a position to resist the tremendous sanctions that are in place and that will further come. It cannot fight the US. Let’s be real. The only solution is a negotiation. And I would also say… I don’t know why they are afraid of negotiation. Maybe they are afraid because they think he is a tough man and they will be negotiating with a gun on the table and that kind of thing. And that is not really true. Mr. Trump is not a war monger. He is not a man for sanctions. He is a businessman. He isn’t a diplomat. He isn’t a military man. They really could have used him better. Previously I told them – “listen – all you have to do is build a casino on one of Iran’s islands and put Mr. Trump’s name on it, and done!”
Unfortunately the Islamic Republic have their own away of thinking. For them everybody in the world is either a complete friend or a complete enemy.