Iran, Middle East
The path ahead is dangerous, but Iranian officials have importantly signaled a belief that a tit for tat with the United States can lead to a deal.
Iran's Path to Negotiations With Trump's America
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei told Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in Tehran that his country “will not negotiate under pressure.” His meeting with Abe was followed by new acts of sabotage against oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, raising concerns of a full-blown conflict erupting. While the perpetrator is unknown, the United States and Iran are increasingly locked in a stalemate that neither can afford to live with. The potential still exists for negotiations, provided President Donald Trump makes a course correction and offers credible incentives for a deal.
A year after reneging on the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump’s so-called “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran has crash-landed. Not only is the regime in Tehran still standing despite the expectations of senior Trump advisors, but Iranian leaders remain defiant in the face of Trump's calls for talks. This was reinforced by Khamenei during his meeting with Abe, with him saying that he does not trust the United States or believe that it seeks “genuine negotiations.”