Iranian MP: Secret negotiations underway between Tehran, Washington in Muscat

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Javad Karimi Ghodoosi, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committees of Iran’s parliament, said that secret negotiations are underway between experts at the Iranian foreign ministry and their counterparts in the US administration in the Oman’s capital Muscat.

In an interview with Iranian Moj news agency Friday, Ghodoosi accused Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of negotiating with US President Donald Trump’s administration, and ensured that the information he was sharing with the agency was “very credible.”

The MP claimed that officials from Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs were talking to members of Trump’s administration despite oppositions from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to negotiate with the US.

“The negotiations come after instructions from the leader on the dangers of negotiating with the United States,” said Ghodoosi.

He considered Zarif’s negotiations an attempt to “open up communication with the Trump administration,” which he said the foreign minister previously attempted to do through the lobbying of National Iranian American Council.

Ghodoosi also added that after the US pulled out of the nuclear agreement in May, the Iranian foreign minister attempted to contact the Trump administration to begin negotiations.

During a speech to a group of Basij Resistance Force militants, who work with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Khamenei said he rejected any new negotiations with Washington and called Iranian officials who condone negotiations “businessmen rather than statesmen” and “traitors.”

However, many observers note that when faced with pressures that threaten his position and the regime, Khamenei will instruct the government to negotiate.

Iran’s foreign minister previously announced that his country was willing to negotiate with the US for a new agreement.

In an interview with BBC, Zarif said “the doors are open, provided that the meeting will be held in trust.” He added that “Iran’s condition in regards to starting negotiations is to ensure the agreement is implemented once it’s reached.”

Ghodoosi stated the Rouhani government reached a “dead end” when Iran’s Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Zarif visited senior Shiite officials and influential clerics in the regime in an attempt to persuade them to resume negotiations with the US to avoid sanctions that threaten the regime.

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