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Tuesday, 16 July 2024
Zarif, From Reviving Nuclear Deal to Presidency of Iran
Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh

Over a decade ago, Mohammad Javad Zarif as Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations met some American politicians and senators privately. At one, The New Yorker wrote in an article that Joe Bien in his senate days met with Zarif. “Zarif is a tough advocate, but he’s also pragmatic, not dogmatic,” Biden told, “He can play an important role in helping to resolve our significant differences with Iran peacefully.”   

And now, the result of Iran’s next presidential election is related directly to lifting the sanctions against the country by the U.S and reviving Iran's nuclear deal as known JCPOA. The common factor of both is a name, Iran Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. If he resurrects the deal with the Biden administration, Zarif will be a hero in Iran before the next presidential election. In fact, the absorbent features appear in Zarif’s character, he is the only person in the world who can telephone both Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and American senators. So, he could be an adequate choice for four years of interaction between Iran and the Biden administration. Although he rejects any nomination willingness, many reformists and moderates in Iran support him. However, he sent recently a positive signal for the run to the presidency in an interview with an Iranian Newspaper.

Iran’s presidential elections are scheduled to be held on 18 June 2021. The relationship between Iran and U.S in future months has related to the result of the election. If the two sides can compromise together, the crippling sanctions on Iran would be lifted, and Iran’s economic problem would be reduced. Now, Iranian people are under maximum pressure; therefore, reviving the nuclear deal can increase chances of closer candidates to the current government. In reverse, if diplomacy defeats, the election turnout rate would be reduced and hardliners will win most probably.

Few months remain until Iran’s election and rumors market are hot in political space. The possible candidates from Principlists and hardliners are the Speaker of the Parliament of Iran Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Ebrahim Raisi as Chief Justice of Iran, and Iranian politician Saeed Jalili. On another side, reformists and moderates are in a weakened position because the economic situation in Iran is catastrophic and the prices of stuff and food material are at the highest level since the revolution of 1979. But there are rumors that the foreign minister may run for president. If he can revive JCPOA, Zarif will be a choice with a high chance for the presidency. Otherwise, a hardliner candidate becomes the president.

Absorbent features have appeared in Zarif's Character. One day, he talks to President Bashar al-Assad and another day he is talking with senator Feinstein. He is verified by Qasem Soleimani and Iran’s supreme leader. “He is the son of Iran's revolutionary,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said. Also, Zarif is credible among American politicians. He has known the cultures and politics of the two sides since the 1979 revolution. Just a politician can straddle between Iran and U.S, He lived about twenty years in the U.S and his children are American. He wears no tie but he is mastered the American accent. Many years ago, at a meeting hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Martin Indyk, the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel said to Zarif as Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, “We’re going to miss you!” After many years, the man as a foreign minister of Iran, sanctioned by the Trump administration. After that, Senator Dianne Feinstein released the statement on sanction against Iran Foreign Minister. “Sanction of Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is a mistake.” the statement added, “I’ve known Foreign Minister Zarif for more than 15 years. While we’ve had our differences of opinion, he’s always been a capable diplomat.”

We can say surely if Zarif can’t, no one can fix it. Without him, it will be much more difficult. If the U.S wants to compromise with Iran after Trump's era, the country has not a better choice than Zarif. In fact, all the world has known him by signing of JCPOA between Iran and U.S, E3, EU, China, and Russia. He played a key role in the achievement to deal. Trump administration withdraw America from the deal, but Biden’s foreign policy team and Zarif want to revive the deal. But there are obstacles and dissidents, and the process going on a bumpy road. If Biden returns to the deal, Democrats will interact with a moderate government in the future years. Maybe, Zarif will be a president, but otherwise, no reviving the deal means a hardliner president and increasing Iran's nuclear activity in the Middle East. Moderates, reformists, and many people in Iran would be motivated to vote for Zarif against hardline rivals but the precondition of his presidency is resurrecting of JCPOA and lifting Iran’s sanctions. “If Iran wants to negotiate with the U.S, a negotiation specialist government must come to power,” Ali Soufi, a reformist politician, told to Fararu News Website. “It seems that Zarif is the best choice and he can run to the presidency.”

The time is running out for Biden if he wants a pragmatic person as president of Iran not dogmatic. But now, two sides want the first step to being taken by the other. Biden says if Iran back to its commitments; we will back to JCPOA. On another side, Iran's officials say lifting the sanctions is the precondition of backing our nuclear commitments. And the Biden administration can affect Iran’s next presidential election in the last months of Rouhani's era, but Biden now concludes that Iran is in weakness position and the first step must take by Iran, not the U.S.

However, the danger of Zarif is serious for hardliners in Iran. When Joe Biden elected, the Kayhan newspaper as the opposition of the Iran government and a hardliner media wrote that Zarif must retire from politics and claimed he would not any chance of winning the presidential election. But recently, Iran’s Foreign Minister in an interview with Hamdeli newspaper gave no answer definitely that whether he will run in the country’s next presidential election, but he said,” I submit to fate.”

Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh

BY: Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh