The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, is under pressure in Tehran to admit that his nuclear negotiations with the Americans have been a failure. His critics cite remaining US sanctions and less-than-hoped return of foreign business interests into Iran as key grievances.
One Iranian newspaper, Kayhan, reported that a member of the Iranian parliament’s committee on foreign affairs had heard Zarif describe US Secretary of State John Kerry as “untrustworthy.” According to the report, Zarif had said that Kerry’s many personal promises to him were all proven to be “lies” and as result Zarif no longer could be seen with Kerry.
Elsewhere, hardliners are asking Zarif to “admit and learn from his historic mistake” in negotiating the nuclear deal with the United States. The same hardliners are also urging for a crackdown on both the local opposition – including the hanging of opposition leaders – and for Iran to intensify its expansionist policies in the region.
Across the political spectrum in Tehran, an unrealistic expectation about the anticipated payout from the 2015 nuclear deal continues to exist. According to this expectation, the nuclear deal was supposed to, at a stroke of the pen, normalize Iran’s diplomatic and economic relations with the rest of the world. This is entirely unrealistic. As had been pledged as part of the deal, much of the international sanctions on Iran has been lifted. The fact that the international business community is still reluctant to enter Iran is because Tehran continues to pursue disoriented, repressive and militaristic policies at home and in the region.