Iran has continued to dismiss United States President Donald Trump’s talk that a confrontation of some kind will be in the near future. After the United States made its dramatic withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, the Iranian government has returned with threats. While President Trump has made the offer to discuss the situation “any time,” Iran has not shown any interest in discourse.
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, “Threats, sanctions & PR stunts won’t work. Try respect: for Iranians & for (international) commitments.”
Revolutionary Guard Commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari made his own remark, “The Iranian people do not authorize officials to meet the Great Satan … Mr. Trump, Iran is not North Korea.”
President Trump has shown little concern publicly though. During a speech in Florida, the President told supporters that, “I have a feeling they’ll be talking to us pretty soon … And maybe not, and that’s OK too. It’s a horror show. I hope it works out well with Iran. They are having a lot of difficulty right now.”
Iran is approaching a dire situation regarding its economy though, the sanctions against them are primarily going to target the nation’s financial institutions and oil exports — its primary export. The Grand Bazaar located in Tehran is booming at the moment considering sanctions could destroy trade and create massive inflation. A kitchen owner in the bazaar by the name of Ali told local media that,
It’s been really busy these last few days. People are worried that if they don’t buy things today, they won’t be available tomorrow. They are right – if I sell these knives, I won’t be able to get any more.”
He went on to explain that the purpose was that the importers and wholesalers are not bringing in new stock for fear of the unknown effects the future sanctions may have. Presently the Iranian rial is sitting at 44,000 to 1 U.S. dollar as of Wednesday.
Many Iranian officials believe that negotiations between the United States and Iran are impossible at this point considering the hostility that is being perpetuated by both sides.
Foreign Affairs Minister Zarif tweeted that, “Iran & US had two yrs of talks. With EU/E3+Russia+China, we produced a unique multilateral accord – the JCPOA (nuclear deal). It’s been working. The US can only blame itself for pulling out & leaving the table.”
Others share the sentiment and feel that it would be shameful to give in to the pressure being applied by the United States. Iranian parliament deputy speaker Ali Motahari has said that,
With the contemptuous statements (Trump) addressed to Iran, the idea of negotiating is inconceivable. It would be a humiliation.” Nuclear negotiating team member and analyst Mohammad Marandi said, “We cannot negotiate with someone who violates international commitments, threatens to destroy countries, and constantly changes his position.”
Other Islamic Republic officials remain adamant that diplomacy is the solution that the nation needs though. Iran’s foreign affairs commission parliament lead, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, told local media that, “Negotiations with the United States must not be a taboo.”
Motahari, despite his view of the situation, admitted that the officials in positions of power who neglect this path are partially responsible for the nuclear deal’s collapse, saying that,
If the whole Iranian system had worked to implement this agreement, today we would be witnessing the presence of European companies in Iran and their investments, and even Trump would not be able to withdraw so easily from the deal. But from the start one part of the system did not want the agreement to work.”
Featured image: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif listens as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters in 2016 before a bilateral meeting at the Lotte Palace Hotel in New York, N.Y. | State Department