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No Chance For JCPOA, Says Commentator Close To Khamenei

As a radical shift in the Iranian media's narrative regarding the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal is becoming evident daily, IRGC-linked news agency Fars carried an interview with hardline commentator Foad Izadi who dismissed President Hassan Rouhani's recent remarks about his success in furthering the negotiations over the nuclear issue. He made the assertion that despite Rouhani’s claim there is no chance to revive the agreement.

Izadi, a hardline analyst who often speaks for Khamenei's office on the Iranian state television, told Fars that "Rouhani does not believe in what he says," adding that "Rouhani's statements are one hundred percent wrong. The Americans have openly said that they want a new long-term deal."

Izadi added: "The US side is saying that they wish to change the JCPOA with a stronger agreement that would go beyond the nuclear issue and cover regional issues, Iran missile program as well as other issues." By other issues, Izadi possibly means the Islamic Republic of Iran's violation of human rights.

Meanwhile, he added that the Americans wish to "suspend some of the sanctions," but "they want to keep some of the sanctions that were imposed by Donald Trump." Izadi added: "Motivated by political rivalries in Iran, Rouhani is saying things no one else in the world would believe."

During recent days, Iranian conservative and hardline newspapers appear to have largely  stay away from the JCPOA and their main subjects have shifted to discussions about walking dogs in the streets being "unclean and unethical". At the same time, most proreform media have shifted to cautious and often absurd discussions about the combination of President-elect Raisi's cabinet. 

Reformist Aftab Yazd daily in Iran carried a report on Thursday which said Iranian conservative politicians are also likely to change their rhetoric about the JCPOA once the new administration takes over in Tehran. Former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili for one who has been a critic of the JCPOA has already changed his narrative, calling the JCPOA a bad check that cannot be cashed yet, but the new administration knows how to cash it and put it to good use.

Rouhani has said several times during the past weeks that the revival of the JCPOA was a done deal prepared by him for Iran's next administration to benefit from. In his latest statement on the matter, Rouhani blamed "some people," supposedly Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for having prevented him from completing the revival of the nuclear deal in the Vienna talks.

There is also every indication that Khamenei has cut off the Rouhani administration from the Vienna negotiations, which have been put on hold until perhaps October when President Raisi and his cabinet are in place and ready to carry on.

Izadi also dismissed Rouhani’s assertion on Wednesday that legislation by Iran’s hardliner dominated parliament in December to boost uranium enrichment prevented an early agreement with the United States. "The Rouhani administration would have had no bargaining chips in the negotiations if it were not for the Majles legislation." Even the New York Times wrote that the US side took matters seriously only after Iran started 60% Uranium enrichment.”

Izadi also charged that "Rouhani wants to repeat the carelessness that led to America's safe exit from the JCPOA. This is Rouhani's personal problem."

Izadi reiterated that "unlike what Rouhani has claimed there is no chance for the revival of the JCPOA. Such a chance did not exist in March and does not exist now," adding that "The Americans want Iran's commitment to enter negotiations over other matters. This comes while Rouhani claims that the US side has come to the negotiating table to repent!"

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