MP Backs Engagement With Anti-Trump Groups

MP Backs Engagement With Anti-Trump Groups MP Backs Engagement With Anti-Trump Groups

Iran will be able to enlighten American public opinion about the wrong policies of US President Donald Trump regarding Tehran by opening a dialogue between Iranian academics and American opponents of the US pullout from the nuclear deal, a senior lawmaker said.   
A nuclear agreement, formally dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was signed between Iran and major world powers, including the United States, in 2015, but Trump scrapped the deal in May and restored harsh sanctions. 
Mohammad Javad Jamali, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, maintains that the intellectual community holds considerable potential to connect with anti-Trump Americans at a time when approaching US officials is not viable.
"While Trump's stated policies are being pursued, holding discussion with pro-JCPOA officials is not possible, but the elite, academics and thinkers can have negotiations as unofficial entities of the country," he said in a recent interview with ICANA.   
Jamali stressed that such talks are not only trouble-free, but may also be effective and help sway American public opinion, although a shift of approach during the term of the incumbent US government is unlikely given the far-reaching authority of the US president. 
"Some American groups oppose both the US withdrawal from the JCPOA and the policies adopted [by the Trump administration] that run counter to international law, but Trump has … precluded these groups from influencing decision-making by statesmen," he said.
Nevertheless, the role of the American nation's mentality cannot be disregarded, he added, suggesting that any effort targeting the US people could have implications for future elections in the country and help swing votes in favor of groups that are likely to adopt more favorable policies toward Iran. 

New Atmosphere   

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, another member of the parliamentary panel, had earlier stated that engaging with American groups campaigning against sanctions on Iran would be beneficial. 
While senior Iranian officials have frequently declared that the Islamic Republic will have no talks and relations with the US under Trump's ultra-hostile leadership, the lawmaker advised against closing all diplomatic channels because America "is not [just] Trump".  
"Evidence shows that a new diplomatic atmosphere for détente with America has been created and there is an opportunity for Iran to pursue the diplomacy of negotiation and lobbying activities with anti-Trump groups in the United States," he said.
Jamali was referring to a recent US waiver granted for a North Sea gas field shared by Iran ahead of a new round of sanctions on the country's energy sector that is to come into force on Nov. 4.     
The Atlantic Council, an American think tank, has cited Falahatpisheh's comments in a recent article as a sign that Iran is softening its tough line on any dealings with the US.   
"Such an evolution may lead to a policy shift that could eventually break open the stalemate in Iran-US relations," the article reads. 
It has also referred to Iran's ratification of four bills containing reforms required by the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization tasked with combating financial crimes, including money laundering and financing terrorism, as an indication of a movement toward moderation.  
Despite initial vehement opposition by top officials against measures demanded by FATF, Iran's Parliament passed all the bills on joining its conventions, although the Guardians Council, a top-level vetting body, has yet to endorse them. 

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