“Negotiating, talking, and engaging the enemy at some points do not mean surrendering to them,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently declared. His important remarks come amid the ongoing eighth round of negotiations in Vienna to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The comments also mark a turnaround from Khamenei’s position during the Donald Trump presidency (2017-21) that there would be “no negotiations and no war” between Iran and the United States. The support for diplomacy comes at a critical juncture in the nuclear negotiations and is vital to giving the conservative Ebrahim Raisi administration the political space it needs to strike a deal in the Austrian capital.
Iran’s conservatives change tack
Many in the west have speculated that the conservative Raisi government is not interested in reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal is formally known...
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