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In Iran’s Hierarchy, Talks with Trump Are Now Seen as Inevitable – Farnaz Fassihi (NYT via Daily Alert)

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Aug. 30, 2019

  • In Iran’s Hierarchy, Talks with Trump Are Now Seen as Inevitable – Farnaz Fassihi
    In the power circles of Tehran, where “Death to America” is regularly chanted, the idea has taken hold that Iran must eventually negotiate with President Trump, according to several people with knowledge of the shift. They said Iran’s leadership had concluded that Trump could be re-elected and that the country cannot withstand six more years of the onerous sanctions he has imposed. It is a remarkable turnabout for the political establishment in Tehran, which for the past 40 years has staked its legitimacy on defiance of the U.S.
    The Iranians intend to escalate tensions even more in the next few months to strengthen their hand in potential negotiations, people with knowledge of Iranian strategy said. “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 are going to try to push for making the deal as sweet as possible.”
    United Against Nuclear Iran warned, “The momentum created by maximum pressure could quickly evaporate should talks between the United States and Iran take place prematurely.” While Ayatollah Khamenei has always railed against the U.S., he has in the past shown flexibility when all options were exhausted, if a compromise could be achieved with face-saving for Iran. (New York Times)
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