Alwaght- Over the past few weeks, the US President Donald Trump sent vitiated messages to Iran, expressing his readiness for a face-to-face meeting with the Islamic Republic's officials.
In Iran, while politicians almost unanimously rejected the offer, many were waiting for the leader to have the last word on the suggestion. This happened on Monday when Sayyed Ali Khamenei, addressing crowds of the citizens in Tehran, released his stance on the talks, saying negotiation with Washington "is forbidden".
Touching on unreliability of the US, the leader explained the White House’s formula and approach adopted by all American administrations during the negotiations with foreign governments. Recounting reasons why Iran has decided not to negotiate with the US , Ayatollah Khamenei explained:
- Because the Americans rely on money and power, they consider negotiations as a commercial exchange.
- When the US wants to negotiate with a party, they determine their main goals, and then they won’t retreat even a step away from these goals.
- They demand that the other party to pay a privilege immediately; and if the other party refuses to comply with them, they start to make a fuss, so the other party would surrender.
- The US itself does not pay anything in exchange for what it takes from the other party. The US only makes strong promises in order to enchant the other party with mere promises.
- In the final stage, after receiving all the immediate advantages, Americans breach their own promises.
“They (Americans) just give empty words but they want concrete privileges. At the end of the road, they break their word and do not fulfill it,” he told the Iranians coming from across the country to the capital to visit him.
A look at the track record of various US administrations’ performance in negotiations can make it clear that despite some differences in tactics and occasionally in strategies, they all adopt a single version of negotiating style.
Over decades, the main tool of the White House to realize its interests in special cases has been the carrot-and-stick policy, except for some case of direct military actions. Once the process is complete and Washington gets all of its demands met, its leaders break their promises under various ruses. They in some cases even press for further demands as they already devaluated the opposite side’s play cards. A very memorable example is the Libya denuclearization talks.
Following the 9/11 attacks on the US and the ensuing invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, who was once in the Soviet-led camp and thus an opponent to the US-led West’s policies in Africa, told Washington he was ready to quit his nuclear program and normalize diplomatic ties with the US, severed since 1981. In return, he demanded all of the sanctions on Tripoli lifted.
In March 2004, over 1,000 nuclear centrifuges and missile parts were shipped out of Libya. Despite the fact that some Libyan politicians bragged about their return to the international community by getting a temporary United Nations Security Council’s seat in return for quitting their missile and nuclear programs, Gaddafi was dissatisfied with the outcome. In April 2010, he told the media that the West did not help him with bolstering his economy and warned that Libya case is not a good model to settle Iran and North Korea nuclear cases. Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam later revealed that in 2009 his father halted enriched uranium shipment abroad to raise a bargaining chip against the West.
Mohamed El-Beradei the former International Atomic Energy Agency chief, in his book, The Age of Deception: Diplomacy In Treacherous Times wrote that Gadhafi did reforms to highly sensitive policies and moved back from his stances hoping to get West’s gratification. He added that Libya increased cooperation with the IAEA and the US with a hope to develop economically. The Libyans, he went on, engaged in full cooperation and provided requested information making the nuclear experts’ supervision an easy process. El-Beradei noted that during a trip to Libya at the time he saw many Western companies’ heads also in the country waiting for the African country to be opened for business. The oil companies had a blatant presence there, he said, adding while listening to the Libyan authorities’ remarks about their developing flexibility to deal with the fast changes, he did not stopped being haunted by the thought that they risked exposure to Western abuses.
In 2011, an uprising took place against Gaddafi, who struggled to smoothen NATO’s pro-military action stances by raising his retreat from his nuclear and missile programs as a good-faith move. But he was apparently unsuccessful. The West broke its word and in a pro-freedom gesture launched an airstrikes campaign against the African Country that resulted in government's collapse. Gaddafi was captured and killed by rebels a few months later.
North Korea is another example. The main focus in dealing with Pyongyang has been pressing for the Asian nation’s retreat and, if possible, overthrowing its communist government.
In the 1990s, North Korea said it was ready to negotiate with the US under international supervision in return for sanctions relief. In 1994, the two reached a deal, but it collapsed as Washington avoided to lift the sanctions, give Pyongyang food aids, and build a light-water reactor as agreed.
Needless to say, the North’s return to the nuclear arms was a result of the US treachery. Despite that, Washington did not stop threatening a re-nuclearized Pyongyang.
In 2003, a similar process was launched, this time with new parties– China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea– taking part as sponsors. But again the Americans declined to stand by the deal’s terms. And now under Trump, similar pressures are being put on the North, asking it to bow to unconditional denuclearization.
The paradox is that the US says it is ready to unconditionally engage with North Korea but its diplomats set nuclear disarming as an initial step Pyongyang needs to take. As the two sides engaged in expert-level negotiations, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said the White House eyes a Libya-style denuclearization process with the North, implying a two-step scheme: denuclearization and regime change.
Up to now, Kim Jong-un of North Korea took good-faith steps, releasing American prisoners and destroying missile launch sites. To his frustration, Trump has not lifted the sanctions even partially, instead making up excuses for his abuses. All he does is treacherously pledge to help the North Korean economy grow without fully lifting the ban.