Just two days before the 36th anniversary of the Islamic Republic on February 11, Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is preparing public opinion about a possible deal with the West.
His recent speeches and Twitter posts show flexibility and a general approval regarding a deal with the United States and world powers.
Major parties in these talks - Iran and the U.S. - have stressed their hope that a political agreement would be reached in talks that have been in motion since Hassan Rowhani become president.
The result of these intense talks led to an interim agreement agreed in Nov. 2013, an temporary deal which has been extended. The main goal for the extensions was to find a solution by lifting the sanctions imposed on Iran and at the same time find assurances for the international community regarding the possible threat of Iran’s nuclear program.
The negotiating parties of the P5+1 (five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) have been trying to resolve the remaining issues in order to reach the comprehensive deal before the deadline comes up on July 1, 2015.
While Iran and the U.S. are making serious efforts, propaganda and manipulation by opposing factions is playing a significant role.
Although the nuclear agreement has serious opponents in Iran, it’s clear to everyone that the supreme leader has the last word and if he approves, no one can challenge or jeopardize his decision.
After almost four decades of animosity and bitterness with the United Sates, the time has come for a change to end the country’s isolation and boost the nation’s economy.
“To reach a deal, Iran temporarily stopped 20% enrichment at Arak and Fordow plants but the other side is still asking for concessions.” Khamenei tweeted on Sunday.
He is not budging on the American demands and now it is time for the U.S. to show its hand.
On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry mentioned Iran only briefly and avoided discussing the nuclear talks or pressuring the country's leaders in public. The flexibility can be felt from both sides at this point and if the administrations decide to not heed any destructive influences, we shouldn’t worry about the consequences of the nuclear agreement.
There is also pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel his trip to the U.S. in March in which he is set to present to the U.S. congress about the threat of Iran. Will Congress renege on the invitation as the heat rises over this controversial move?
The battle to make room for Iran in the international community carries on. Of course changes can’t be made without resistance and controversy and the government in Tehran should be prepared for more changes when the deal comes through and a new chapter opens between the two former hostile nations.
Khamenei on Sunday endorsed his officials but opposed a two-stage deal, and demanded that sanctions be removed upon reaching the comprehensive agreement.
The two-stage deal is what Iranian and U.S. negotiators have been mentioning frequently - a political agreement by the end of March and then the comprehensive deal before the deadline on July 1.
Yet the supreme leader wants to seal the deal all at once. What Khamenei proposed is smart because once things are done, it will leave no room for dissent. But the two-stage solution may open the floor up to opponents to disrupt the talks.
Iranians are anxious to hear what the supreme leader has to say on the anniversary of the revolution on February 11 regarding the nuclear negotiations and the prospective of a brighter future, with no sanctions or military threats by the U.S. and its allies.
Camelia Entekhabi-Fard is a journalist, news commentator and writer who grew up during the Iranian Revolution and wrote for leading reformist newspapers. She is also the author of Camelia: Save Yourself by Telling the Truth - A Memoir of Iran. She lives in New York City and Dubai. She can be found on Twitter: @CameliaFardSHOW MORE