One of the top advisers to Iran’s Supreme Leader gave a hint of cautious optimism about rebuilding ties with the United States, in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
Mohammad-Javad Larijani said that Iran is not “refraining or shying away” from talking to the United States.
“The issue is how we can restructure this relation, after 35 years of hostility and, right now, unfortunately, it's at the peak of that,” Larijani said.
There were new nuclear talks last month in Almaty, Kazakhstan between the U.S., Iran, and five other countries. The parties are due to meet again next month to see if they can resolve the crisis diplomatically and not militarily.
Both sides are publicly portraying the latest talks positively, although onlookers from Israel to Saudi Arabia say they remain skeptical that Iran intends to be fully transparent about its nuclear ambitions.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Salehi said the West is showing signs of good faith.
“I would like to share the view of Minister Salehi, but I'm a bit more cautious,” Larijani told Amanpour. “They are always asking the utmost,” Larijani added, saying the West would get more transparency if Iran got more cooperating from the West, alluding to the easing of sanctions.
The West wants Iran to stop producing and enriching uranium to 20% and Larijani signaled that Iran could agree to that under certain conditions.
“I think this is very simple,” he said. “They should sell it to us. If we can buy it like 15 years ago – we bought it [from] Argentina. Then there is no need to produce it.”
Larijani said it would be a “very bad request,” if the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and others were to ask Iran to stop its right to enrichment under NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) rules.
Though, he said Iran is ready to accept all mechanisms under the NPT to supervise this direction of its development.
When pressed about any type of opening for bilateral talks between the U.S. and Iran, Larijani did not rule out the possibility.
“My recommendation to the diplomatic machinery is that we should think about new models [of] approach.”