A former joint chiefs’ commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) had said that Iran should negotiate with the United States, on its own initiative.
Hossein Alaee in a speech on June 30 told his audience that “we cannot leave aside negotiations, whether at the apex of power or in a position of weakness”, the official IRNA news website reported.
He emphasized, “It would have been better to have negotiated when Trump announced he would leave JCPOA, and tried to prevent it, or when Trump said he would negotiate without preconditions. We should have responded saying that we will negotiate but based on our own agenda [priorities]”.
This is the first time that a former senior IRGC commander argues in favor of talks with the U.S.
In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has proposed negotiations without preconditions, but Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has rejected the idea, saying talking with America is “poison” and negotiating with the Trump administration is “double poison”.
Alaee in his speech also said that both sides have the capacity for armed conflict but “the possibility of war breaking out is at its minimum.” He added that both the U.S. and Iran are trying to avoid war, but conditions in the region are such that the danger of “an incident leading to limited war should not be ignored”.
Iranian officials have also discounted the possibility of war with the United States, but at the same time they have warned the U.S. against violating Iranian territory or airspace.