Vladimir Sazhin: Iran has chance to end conflict with U.S.
The U.S. decision to engage in direct negotiations with Iran after the escalation of the situation in the Middle East was not sensational, as President Donald Trump has earlier stated his readiness for negotiations with Tehran on the nuclear program, senior research fellow of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Sazhin said, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.
At the same time, he recalled that Iran also was ready for such negotiations are possible,but only after the lifting of sanctions.
"The Iranians attacked two American bases in Iraq, but, thank God, there were no casualties. Therefore, Trump in his statement yesterday did not talk about retaliatory attacks against Iran, only about tougher sanctions," the expert noted.
He drew attention to the fact that neither side was ready for bloodshed. "It seems that after a missile attack and the killing of General Soleimani by Americans, Iran had to respond. But if American servicemen died in a retaliatory strike, then a very serious escalation would begin,” the expert continued.
Sazhin recalled that on January 6, Iran has begun the fifth step in reducing its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. This stage will last 60 days, being followed by Tehran's official withdrawal from the JCPOA, according to the expert. “This may lead to the full resumption of the Iranian nuclear program. And, of course, neither Israel nor the United States will tolerate any Tehran's movement towards the development of its nuclear program. It is practically impossible to find the line that separates the military and civilian nuclear programs. Therefore, the prospect of Iran withdrawing from the JCPOA is a very serious not only technical, but also political step, negotiations are certainly necessary," Sazhin believes.
According to him, the further resolution of the situation depends, first of all, on Tehran’s steps. "Trump offers negotiations without any preconditions, but Iran has a precondition - the termination of U.S. sanctions. This process, if it begins, and it will definitely begin, will not happen in the near future. But it will take 60 days," the expert concluded.