Iran Might Reassign Key Nuclear Negotiation Post

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 20, 2013, 10:02 a.m.

Ir­an on Tues­day said its new pres­id­ent may elim­in­ate a con­ser­vat­ive na­tion­al-se­cur­ity body’s role in rep­res­ent­ing the coun­try in mul­ti­lat­er­al ne­go­ti­ations over Tehran’s con­tested atom­ic activ­it­ies, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

“In the past 10 years … the ne­go­ti­at­or has been the sec­ret­ary of the Su­preme Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil,” but that “may change,” For­eign Min­istry spokes­man Ab­bas Araq­chi told re­port­ers.

Pres­id­ent Has­san Rouh­ani could as­sign the task to his re­cently con­firmed top dip­lo­mat, but he has yet to make any fi­nal de­cision, Araq­chi said. “We are still wait­ing for our pres­id­ent to an­nounce which in­sti­tu­tion is charged with pur­su­ing the nuc­le­ar ne­go­ti­ations and af­ter­ward to identi­fy the ne­go­ti­at­or and the nuc­le­ar team,” he said.

One un­named Ir­a­ni­an en­voy said, though, that Rouh­ani already has handed the re­spons­ib­il­ity to For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­hammad Javad Za­rif, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted.

“The nuc­le­ar dossier has been trans­ferred to the For­eign Min­istry,” the Ir­a­ni­an dip­lo­mat­ic in­sider said on Tues­day. “Dr. Za­rif is now in the pro­cess of se­lect­ing his ne­go­ti­at­ing team be­fore pre­par­ing for talks” with the five per­man­ent U.N. Se­cur­ity Coun­cil mem­ber na­tions and Ger­many, the source ad­ded.

Tehran would main­tain “the same trend stra­tegic­ally as the former gov­ern­ment,” but it has to al­ter course “from a tech­nic­al and tac­tic­al point of view,” Ali Ak­bar Velay­ati, a lead coun­selor to Ir­a­ni­an su­preme lead­er Ayatol­lah Ali Khame­nei, told AP in re­marks pub­lished on Monday. Khame­nei holds fi­nal say on all Ir­a­ni­an policies.

Velay­ati called for his coun­try’s atom­ic en­voys to con­fer “one-by-one dir­ectly and in­dir­ectly” with coun­ter­parts from the six oth­er ne­go­ti­at­ing powers: China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States.

However, he said that U.S. lead­ers must “come down from their po­s­i­tion” to par­ti­cip­ate in bi­lat­er­al talks with Tehran.

“They still be­lieve that they are a su­per­power,” he said.

Pres­id­ent Obama could waive cer­tain con­gres­sion­ally im­posed eco­nom­ic pen­al­ties against Ir­an un­der a po­ten­tial deal with the coun­try, Con­gres­sion­al Re­search Ser­vice ex­pert Ken­neth Katz­man wrote in an al-Mon­it­or art­icle pub­lished on Monday.

“The stand­ard for us­ing the waiver au­thor­ity has stiffened in re­cent years, some­times re­quir­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion to cer­ti­fy that in­vok­ing the waiver is in the ‘vi­tal na­tion­al se­cur­ity in­terests of the United States’ or a sim­il­ar for­mu­la­tion,” Katz­man said.

Obama “has dis­cre­tion to re­peal or amend the ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders he is­sues and also has dis­cre­tion to re­voke the des­ig­na­tion of any firm as a vi­ol­at­or of the or­ders, thereby end­ing any pen­alty for do­ing busi­ness with that en­tity,” he wrote.

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