Iran Might Reassign Key Nuclear Negotiation Post

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
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.

What We're Following See More »
Trump Cuts Deficit in New Morning Consult Poll
1 hours ago

Hillary Clinton now leads Donald Trump by a mere two points in a four-way race, according to the latest Morning Consult weekly poll. Clinton leads 39%-37%, with Gary Johnson at 8% and Jill Stein at 3%. In a two-way race, Clinton leads by three, 43%-40%.

Trump’s Debate Prep Underway
2 hours ago

Donald Trump is hosting Rudy Giuliani, Laura Ingraham, and Roger Ailes "at his New Jersey golf course for Sunday chats" about debating strategy. "Over bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and glasses of Coca-Cola, they test out zingers and chew over ways to refine the Republican nominee’s pitch. Trump’s aides have put together briefing books, not that the candidate is devoting much time to reading them." Ingraham may be cast as the Hillary Clinton stand-in, although Trump's confidence is such that he may not hold any such dress rehearsals. NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports that one such confab was held yesterday.

Doctor: I Wrote Trump’s Note in Five Minutes
3 hours ago

Donald Trump's personal physician, Harold Bornstein, said he wrote a letter declaring Trump would be the healthiest president in history in just five minutes while a limo sent by the candidate waited outside his Manhattan office." However, he said "he stands by his glowing assessment of the 70-year-old's physical state."

Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
3 days ago
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
4 days ago

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”