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In the Iranian hierarchy, talks with Trump are now considered inevitable



In Tehran's power circles, where "Death to America" ​​is regularly sung, the idea has prevailed that Iran must finally negotiate with President Trump, several people with knowledge of the displacement say.

These people said The Iranian leadership had come to the conclusion that Mr. Trump could be re-elected and that the country could no longer withstand six years of incriminating sanctions imposed by him.

It's been a remarkable turnaround for the Tehran political establishment over the past 40 years. It has staked its legitimacy on the United States, but was particularly hostile to Mr. Trump.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran teased a possible meeting with Mr. Trump earlier this week, saying he would be willing to benefit Iranians.

Mr. Rouhani returned within 24 hours, suggesting that he may have been outvoted by the top Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But the people with knowledge of the Iranian hierarchy said that Mr. Rouhani's behavior should be seen as part of the emerging new strategy.

They said the strategy pursued two parallel paths: a more challenging position with regard to the Iranian military and nuclear energy policies to annoy Mr. Trump as she signaled the willingness to speak under certain conditions and appealed to which is considered his deal maker instinct.

"Iran has completely changed," said Abbas Abdi, a former leader of The Students who had taken hostage at the US Embassy in 1979 and is now a prominent figure in a faction known as a Reformist, open to the dialogue with the Americans is.

Hardliners opposed to such a dialogue said Abdi Hatte had "stated that what is now working with America is difficult, but open to discussion, if Trump offers guarantees."

The Iranian leaders were predictably outraged after Mr Trump left Iran The nuclear deal with the world powers of 2015 called for a stricter agreement and again introduced crippling sanctions against Iran.

Although some had hoped that Mr. Trump could be dismissed as a one-term president, this view has faded.

The strategy of those who spoke about it was also based on giving Mr Trump a foreign policy victory, which he could use to strengthen his chances of re-election.

In early August, First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri held a meeting with a group of advisers and political affiliates to discuss the government's approach to dealing with the United States, one person attending the meeting and another who knew about it.

If Mr. Trump wished for a "more comprehensive" deal than the existing agreement, Iran would review its claim – and even discuss parts of its ballistic missile program and Iran's role in the region – but in return Iran would A more comprehensive United Nations guarantee calls for permanent economic easing, people said at the meeting.

"This golden window of opportunity is unlikely to recur in the next decade," said Sadegh Alhusseini, a senior foreign policy and economic adviser to Mr. Jahangiri, in a Twitter message. "This is the starting signal for Iran. Approaching the US elections gives Iran a rare chance to play with Trump.

Mr. Trump's campaign of "maximum pressure" has not threatened the collapse of the Iranian government or led to a popular uprising, as some critics of the government had hoped. Growing tensions with the United States, however, harbor the risk of a military conflict that Trump has promised to avoid.

The signs of Iran's strategy in dealing with Trump have become more apparent in recent weeks.

Iran has shot down an American drone, confiscated a British tanker, unveiled an improved missile defense system and exceeded the amount of enriched uranium allowed under the nuclear agreement. Iranians intend to further escalate tensions over the next few months Strengthen hand in potential negotiations.

Iran is expected to announce a further withdrawal from the nuclear deal in the first week of September, and Iranian officials have announced that they could increase uranium enrichment by as much as 20 percent, much higher than needed for civilian energy use.

At the same time, Iran has strengthened diplomacy. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled Europe, responding to France's surprise invitation to the Group 7 summit and traveling to China, Japan and Malaysia to meet heads of state. Trump did not meet Mr. Zarif at the Seventh Group meeting, and it remains unclear what the Iranian Foreign Minister would have expected from the United States there. However, according to Iranian analysts, it was almost certainly expected that the sanctions would be eased.

"The Iranians are in a deep economic crisis and there is only one way out," said Nader Hashemi, director of the Middle East Center at Denver University. "They will try to make the business as sweet as possible."

Mr. The appearance of Zarif intensified the speculation of direct talks after President Emmanuel Macron of France had announced that Mr. Trump and Mr. Rouhani could sit down within weeks.

Trump made no mention at the summit of lifting sanctions or suspending sanctions, but said that other countries could grant Iran a credit line for its oil "to bring it to a very rough spot ".

For Mr. Rouhani's Role Though he refused an impending meeting with Trump, he offered a conditional opening.

"We will not make any positive change in our relations with the US without America ending its sanctions and correcting its mistakes," Rouhani said Tuesday.

Opponents of such a meeting remain vocal in both countries, reflecting the mistrust that has shaped relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

After Mr. Rouhani had addressed the mere possibility of a meeting with Mr. Rouhani, Trump, Kayhan, a Tehran newspaper that is a mouthpiece for the hardliners, asked, "Are you crazy?"

United Against Nuclear Iran, a New York-based group that supports Mr. Trump's rejection of nuclear war deal, sai d, "The momentum generated by the maximum pressure could quickly fade away when talks between the United States and the United States Iran take place ahead of schedule. "

The final decision on whether to negotiate with Mr Trump lies with Ayatollah Khamenei. Iranian analysts and politicians said that Mr. Zarif had not been sent to the Group 7 meeting without the consent of Ayatollah Khamenei.

While Ayatollah has always angered Khamenei against the United States, he has shown flexibility in the past when all options were exhausted as to whether a compromise could be reached with the rescue of Iran.

Iranian analysts and politicians have pointed to three examples when the government reversed and endured unbearable pressure: the release of American hostages in 1981, approval of the United States. United Nations resolution to end the eight-year war with Iraq in the In 1988, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Republic, said that ending the war with Iraq was "more deadly than taking poison."

"Since then, the term" poison goblet "in Iran has been synonymous with capitulation. (Ayatollah Khamenei preferred to use the term "Heroic Flexibility" after the Nuclear Agreement.)

Iranian politicians and analysts said hostage negotiations with the United States in 1981 were being considered as a possible precedent for discussions with Trump. [19659005] At that time, which also coincided with a presidential election, Iran negotiated the release of the hostages with President Jimmy Carter's government, but delayed their release and denied Mr Carter an accomplishment that could have helped him re-elect.

The hostages were released when President Ronald Reagan made his inaugural address.

"The rhetoric you hear against talking to America is part of the tactic," said Saeed Shariati, leader of an Iranian reformist party. "Iran and the US will never completely solve their problem, but they have made concessions before and need to do it again."


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