Saturday, 9 February 2013

Iran Live Coverage: Banging the Drum Against the US

0645 GMT: No Talks with the US. Tabnak sees the new US sanctions, announced months ago but coming into force on Wednesday, as significant in the Supreme Leader's declaration of "no direct talks" on Thursday. The website asserts, "The Americans are trying to increase pressure and sanctions every day" to force Iranian concessions, "after which the US will reduce the very sanctions that it imposed the day before".

0615 GMT: It is only two days before the 34th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, but in much of the Iranian press, the headlines are about the US.

Officials across the regime  trumpeted the Supreme Leader's line, announced on Thursday, that --- while Iran is meeting the 5+1 Powers on 26 February --- there will no direct talks with the Americans about the nuclear programme.

Esmail Kowsari of Parliament's National Security Commission --- ignoring earlier Iranian statements that there were "no red lines" on talks --- declared that the US had only proposed discussions because it was losing in Syria. He continued, "If they are telling the truth [they] should demonstrate change in their behavior, withdraw their forces from the region, and lift sanctions. It is at that time that we will review whether negotiations take place or not."

Mansour Haghighatpour, the deputy chairman of the Committee, indicated that the shift in the Iranian position had occurred because of American sanctions, including additional measures that came into effect on Wednesday:

The US can create trust in the Iranian nation by lifting [the sanctions]...Of course, we have not witnessed any sort of honesty in American behavior....In recent days we have witnessed intensification of American sanctions against Iran. From one aspect they seek to sanction Iran and from another they say they are ready for negotiations; these attempts are absolutely unacceptable.

From the Revolutionary Guards, Deputy Commander Hossein Salami said, "The wise leader of the revolution in his speech....annulled negotiations with America and this demonstrated that the root of velayat [clerical leadership] in the country is deep and strong and our country does not fear [foreign] powers."

Salami asserted, "Our country has become self-sufficient in its defense production and we can soon export our military products abroad." 

In the Foreign Ministry --- where Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had said on Monday that direct talks with the US were possible if the Americans showed a constructive attitude --- spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast echoed the Supreme Leader's red line against such discussions.

Note, however, that he retained Salehi's reference to a positive "attitude" --- is this the signal that Iran is demanding an easing of sanctions as the goodwill gesture from Washington?

Based on a framework defined by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, negotiation with the US is not possible and is not in the cards unless they [the Americans] reconsider their attitude and apologize to Iran for 60 years of hostile and oppressive actions.

from EA WorldView: EA Iran

Posted via email from lissping