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Top Khamenei's Aide Attacks Rouhani for US Talks

Iran - Tehran: Rasoul Sanaei Rad - One of Revoloutionary Gaurds Commanders
Iran - Tehran: Rasoul Sanaei Rad - One of Revoloutionary Gaurds Commanders

In a criticism of President Hassan Rouhani's government, a member of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's office, Rasool Sanaei Rad, said that those seeking "a resumption of negotiations with the United States" had "partisan and electoral goals."

Speaking to the state-run Mehr News Agency (MNA) on Friday, Rad, the deputy of the "Political Ideological Bureau of the Commander-in-Chief" for political affairs, implied that Iranian government officials wanted to gain "specific benefits" from the new situation, and "return to the political arena."

The Political Ideology Bureau is part of Khamenei's extensive office, and responsible for "policy-making, coordination, inspection and supervision of the affairs and duties of the representative of the Supreme Leader in the Iranian Armed Forces." The head of the Bureau, appointed by the Supreme Leader, is currently a mid-ranking white-turbaned cleric, Ali Saeedi, Khamenei's former representative in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

Referring to the negotiations leading up to the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Rad said that some people believed that "they could solve country's problems through negotiations," but "experience has shown otherwise."

He also described the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties in the United States as "the difference between Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola." He said that both were American products and "detrimental to human health."

On November 24, Khamenei also referred to the nuclear negotiations between 2013-2015 and said: "We tried to lift the sanctions once and negotiated for several years, but we did not achieve any result."

In recent days, officials in Rouhani's administration have repeatedly spoken about "lifting sanctions" and have called on U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to return to the JCPOA immediately after his administration takes office.

Rouhani suggested to the new U.S. administration that if it rejoined the JCPOA and lifted Washington's nuclear sanctions on Tehran, it would be "very easy" to resolve the dispute between the two countries and even "the next steps could be taken towards other issues.

In recent months, there have been discussions about the future of Iran's nuclear and missile program. In addition to the United States, major European powers have also called for negotiations on such issues.

Since the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 and imposed devastating sanctions on Iran, exerting maximum pressure on the country, Iran's oil sales have plummeted, and Tehran has been struggling with numerous economic problems.