Will the JCPOA Be Revived Through Omani Channels?



Old Versus New Discourse

An editorial by Ali Sarmian published in Etemad newspaper delves into the evolving nature of political discourse in Iran, particularly in the context of presidential elections. Sarmian explores the dynamics of old versus new discourses and the inevitable shifts that accompany political transitions.

The editorial notes that in politics, there exists a dichotomy between old and new discourses. Sarmian compares this to the necessity of opening windows to let in fresh air. Typically, new discourse challenges and eventually supersedes the previous one by adapting to new conditions, rendering the old arguments obsolete. This phenomenon is especially evident during presidential elections, where candidates embody the new discourse, reflecting the shifts in political and societal demands.

Sarmian discusses how this pattern has been consistent across various election cycles in Iran. He highlights the 1960 presidential elections, which marked a significant shift with the tenures of Bani Sadr, Rajaei and Khamenei, each introducing a new discourse that overshadowed the previous one. For instance, Khamenei’s discourse surpassed Bani Sadr’s. Similarly, Hashemi Rafsanjani’s rhetoric during the Iran-Iraq War represented the final chapter of Mirhossein Mousavi’s perseverance-oriented discourse.

The editorial raises the issue of how each president’s discourse has aimed to address the prevailing issues of their time. Seyyed Mohammad Khatami’s focus on political development triumphed over the status quo and the legacy of Hashemi Rafsanjani. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech on distributive justice marked a departure from the existing state of affairs. Hassan Rouhani’s discourse aimed to mitigate Iran’s international isolation, moving away from the rhetoric of Ahmadinejad’s administration.

Sarmian raises the critical question of what the new discourse will be in the upcoming presidential election, which is just 50 days away. He emphasizes the inherent competition between those advocating for transformation and those seeking to stabilize the status quo. These dynamics, he argues, define the political environment and the personas of political figures. Change appears to be inevitable, but the exact nature and name of this transformation remain uncertain.

The editorial notes several indicators that may signal the direction of this change. These include the candidates’ personalities, the approach to the ballot box, the effort to reconnect with the populace, and foreign policy considerations. However, Sarmian points out that one crucial element is still missing: whether old politicians can craft a dominant discourse that resonates with both the government and the people.

Sarmian discusses the challenge of discourse creation within the Iranian political context. Unlike other countries where political parties play a pivotal role in shaping discourse and pre-selecting cabinets, Iran’s political scene is more volatile, with significant changes possible in a short span. This volatility makes it difficult for any political discourse to solidify and gain widespread acceptance.

The editorial raises the issue of whether the candidates themselves can effectively embody and promote this new discourse. Sarmian questions if their political personas can inspire trust and belief among the electorate. He suggests that this will be a significant challenge for all candidates in the upcoming election. The successful creation and adaptation of a new discourse, along with the candidate’s ability to personify it, will be crucial.

The editorial by Sarmian also highlights the complexities and challenges of political discourse evolution in Iran, particularly in the context of presidential elections. The success of future candidates will hinge on their ability to craft a compelling new narrative that addresses contemporary issues while resonating with the electorate and adapting to Iran’s unique political landscape. The editorial underscores the importance of innovative thinking and strategic adaptation in achieving this goal.


Will the JCPOA Be Revived Through Omani Channels?

An editorial by Dr. Salahuddin Harsani in Jahan-e Sanat newspaper analyzes the recent visit of Oman’s foreign minister to Iran, focusing on two main perspectives: the potential revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and regional tensions.

Harsani notes that Oman’s Foreign Minister Badr bin Hamad al-Busaidi visited Tehran and met with Acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani. While the official reason for the visit was to express condolences over the recent helicopter accident involving Iran’s late president, it suggested that the visit had deeper implications. Prior to the accident, there were ongoing discussions about the Iranian nuclear issue through Omani diplomatic initiatives, which the accident temporarily overshadowed.

The editorial discusses how Oman’s visit might convey important diplomatic messages concerning regional issues and the JCPOA. It highlights that the visit likely included messages from Washington to Tehran, which could be both cautionary and constructive, reflecting the political will on both sides to manage conflicts.

The editorial also discusses the message Oman’s foreign minister was likely delivering. The message from Washington emphasized that Iran must address the consequences of its actions in the region, particularly amidst the current tensions influenced by the Hamas-Israel conflict. The United States sought to limit tensions in West Asia, driven by its perception that Iran plays a significant role in the region’s geopolitical dynamics, often countering US interests through its support for proxy forces like Hezbollah, Hashd al-Shaabi, the Houthis, and others.

The author notes that the US message, delivered through Omani diplomacy, aimed to hold Iran accountable for its actions and their impact on regional stability. The visit, therefore, was a response to Washington’s security and political concerns in the region.

The editorial highlights the complexities surrounding the potential revival of the JCPOA. Although the visit signaled an opening for dialogue, the two-year hiatus in negotiations and unresolved issues between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) complicated prospects for a breakthrough. It points out that Iran’s enrichment of uranium and the lack of monitoring compliance had escalated concerns, making it unlikely that talks would focus solely on the JCPOA outcome.

The editorial gives three main reasons supporting this logic. First, the unresolved dispute between Iran and the IAEA over surveillance and security cameras, with Iran accelerating its nuclear activities during the negotiation hiatus. Rafael Grossi’s reports indicated that Iran had enriched uranium to levels approaching nuclear weapons capability.

Second, the challenging political environment in the United States. With upcoming elections, the Biden administration was unlikely to offer concessions to Iran that could jeopardize its political standing, as the priority was to win the elections and counter domestic political opponents like Trump.

Third, Iran’s steadfast positions, which have diminished hopes for a JCPOA revival. Iran demanded the lifting of sanctions inconsistent with the JCPOA and tied any negotiation progress to Washington’s cooperation in ending sanctions and containment strategies.

Jahan-e Sanat

Under the Cloak of the Foreign Presence

An editorial in Jomhouri Eslami newspaper questions whether senior officials in the Iranian system are aware of the underlying issues related to the presence of foreign nationals in the country, specifically Afghans. The editorial expresses concern that if officials are unaware, it is unfortunate, and if they are aware but passive, it is even more troubling.

The editorial notes that the term “foreign nationals” in Iran primarily refers to Afghans, as the number of other foreign nationals is negligible. It highlights the Iranian cultural and Islamic tradition of hospitality, noting that Iran has historically welcomed foreign nationals, including non-Muslims. The editorial emphasizes that Afghans share language, culture and religion with Iranians, and thus, there is no animosity towards them. Iran has demonstrated its willingness to help Afghans, especially during the Soviet and US occupations of Afghanistan over the past 50 years.

The editorial discusses the current situation under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. It notes that the Taliban is not accepted by the Afghan people or recognized by most governments. Reports from the United Nations and other international organizations indicate that the Taliban is a center of terrorism, exporting instability to neighboring countries. The editorial argues that military force is not the solution to the problem of Taliban dominance. Instead, it advocates for intelligent diplomacy as the means to address this regional issue.

The editorial points out that for years, Afghan families lived peacefully in Iran, contributing positively to cultural, economic, labor, and social sectors. These families were integrated into Iranian society without causing significant problems. However, the situation changed dramatically when the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August 2021. The editorial claims that the Taliban’s history of violence and authoritarianism prompted a massive exodus of Afghans to other countries, including Iran.

The editorial raises the issue of some powerful Iranian institutions’ support for the Taliban’s rise to power. This support is identified as a primary factor in the large influx of Afghan nationals into Iran. Despite the Taliban not offering any concessions to Iran, they have received significant support from these institutions. The editorial highlights that this support has led to numerous concessions from Iran in political, commercial, cultural and social sectors, creating severe security problems within the country. The editorial finds it perplexing that Iranian officials, aware of the Taliban’s past crimes against Iranians, continue to trust and prioritize the Taliban.

Jomhouri Eslami

There Is a Third Possibility

The editorial in Hamihan Online analyzes the preliminary report released by the General Staff of the Armed Forces regarding the helicopter accident that involved the president. This preliminary report demonstrates a commitment to investigation, and the editorial emphasizes the importance of a thorough examination of all aspects of the crash, especially before the upcoming elections.

The editorial recalls certain aspects of the incident that need clarification. It suggests that the purpose of addressing such incidents should not solely be to punish those who failed in their duties, although accountability is important. More crucially, the editorial argues, is the need to prevent future occurrences by learning from detailed reports. The repeated nature of such incidents in Iran is partly due to delays in compiling and acting on these reports.

The editorial notes three possible causes for the accident that have been discussed publicly: foreign intervention with or without local collaborators, internal conspiracy, and administrative negligence in complying with travel regulations. While the first two possibilities are more politically charged and lack substantial evidence, they often overshadow the third possibility, which the editorial believes deserves more attention.

The editorial emphasizes that it is impossible for such an incident to occur without anyone being held accountable. It argues that the General Staff of the Armed Forces must examine all possibilities, no matter how unlikely, and address several serious questions related to internal management and administrative negligence.

The editorial raises several critical questions:

Which authority was responsible for managing the trip from start to finish? Was it the head of office, the executive vice president, or a special headquarters composed of various institutions?

Why was the trip not made directly to Parsabad to avoid the need for a helicopter?

Were the helicopters, particularly the one carrying Raisi, authorized to fly at such altitudes with the given passenger load? The editorial points out that security regulations vary for different individuals.

Did travel officials consider the orange weather warning issued by the Meteorological Organization? Who authorized the president’s travel under such conditions, and what was their rationale?

Was the helicopter appropriate for the number of passengers, including the president? Were the safety facilities adequate, and why did the devices meant to send location signals fail to function properly?

The editorial further questions the existence and adherence to security protocols for official helicopter routes, especially near the country’s border. It asks why these protocols were not observed and whether they permit high-ranking officials to board helicopters within 20 kilometers of the border.

Hammihan Online

Ghalibaf Reelected as Majlis Speaker

Today, the Parliament finalized the leadership of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. The 12-member board consists of a speaker, two deputy speakers, six secretaries, and three supervisors. The candidates for the speakership included Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Mojtaba Zolnouri, and Manouchehr Mottaki.

Ghalibaf was elected speaker of the 12th Parliament with a significant lead, receiving 198 out of 287 votes. Zolnouri received 60 votes, while Mottaki secured just five votes. There were 24 invalid votes. This substantial support for Ghalibaf highlights the trust placed in him by parliamentary representatives.

Ali Nikzad and Hamidreza Haji Babaei were elected as deputy speakers. The positions of supervisors went to Gholamreza Nouri Qazalje (130 votes), Alireza Salimi (82 votes), and Jalil Mir Mohammadi (61 votes).

Following the voting, Ghalibaf’s victory was celebrated, with Zolnouri notably congratulating him. The session also elected the deputy speakers: Hamidreza Haji Babaei (175 votes) and Ali Nikzad (169 votes).

In his inaugural speech as speaker, Ghalibaf emphasized the importance of unity and hope, focusing on the Seventh National Development Plan as a key to fostering these values. He urged the Parliament to expedite the approval of credentials to quickly prepare for legislative work.

The Parliament agreed to hold a public session on Thursday to review the credentials of the representatives, ensuring a swift start to their duties.

Setar-e Sobh

Radio Farda Persian

IRGC Commanders Meet With Representatives of Pro-Iran Proxy Groups

State media in Iran reported that leaders of allied militia groups of the Iranian republic in the region met with IRGC Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami and Quds Force Commander Ismail Qaani. This meeting took place on the sidelines of the funeral of Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran.

Raisi and his accompanying delegation died in a helicopter crash in East Azerbaijan on May 30, with their funeral held in Tehran on June 2. According to ISNA news agency, the “leaders of the resistance groups” met with senior IRGC commanders during this ceremony. Notable attendees included Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh, Lebanese Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem, and Houthi spokesperson Muhammad Abd al-Salam.

The term “Resistance Front” is used by Iranian authorities to describe militant groups supported by Tehran in the Middle East, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), and Yemen’s Houthis.

Iran International Persian


Shirin Ebadi Demands the Cancellation of the President’s Memorial Ceremony at the United Nations

Shirin Ebadi, a prominent lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has vehemently denounced the United Nations’ decision to hold a ceremony in memory of the late former Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. In a post on her Instagram account on June 4, Ebadi called upon UN officials to recognize Raisi as the “executioner of Iran” and the “butcher of Tehran.”

Ebadi pointed out that the UN’s own fact-finding committee recently classified the violence perpetrated by the Iranian state as “crimes against humanity.” She also noted that the UN special rapporteur on human rights has consistently reported on widespread human rights abuses in Iran over the years.

In a stinging rebuke, Ebadi suggested that if the UN intends to commemorate figures like Raisi, it might as well organize memorial ceremonies for notorious dictators like Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, and Adolf Hitler.

Ebadi concluded by emphasizing that the actions of the Iranian republic are far too egregious to warrant commemoration or honor in any setting characterized by justice, fairness, and conscience.

Iran Wire

Preliminary Report on the Helicopter Crash That Killed Raisi Emerges

The High Commission tasked with investigating the helicopter accident involving President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation has released its initial findings. The commission dispatched specialized and technical expert teams to the crash site promptly after the incident occurred on Monday, February 31, 2024.

Key points from the report indicate that the helicopter adhered to its planned route without deviation, with communication between the pilot and other helicopters in the flight group occurring approximately one and a half minutes prior to the accident. There was no evidence of bullet marks or similar damage on the helicopter’s remaining components, which caught fire upon impact with the terrain. Despite adverse weather conditions including fog and low temperatures, reconnaissance operations persisted throughout the night, leading to the successful identification of the accident’s precise location with the aid of unmanned drones. Furthermore, conversations between the flight crew and the control tower did not uncover any suspicious circumstances.

The report emphasizes that while a significant portion of the relevant documents and evidence have been collected, further time is needed for a comprehensive review. The commission urges the public to refrain from speculating based on incomplete information or foreign media reports. Additional updates will be provided as the investigation progresses.


Class Disparities in Iran Surging, Sociologist Warns

Sociologist Maqsood Farastkhah has raised concerns about increasing class disparities in Iran, citing the Gini coefficient as an alarming indicator. The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, was 50% in 1979, a contributing factor to the revolution that year. Today, it exceeds 40% in Iran, compared to around 30% in Iraq and 29% in Hungary, signaling problems with regard to social cohesion and solidarity.

Farastkhah also highlighted Iran’s low ranking in the Legatum Prosperity Index, which measures national prosperity based on 12 indicators including security, education, health, and social capital. According to this index, Iran ranks 126th out of 167 countries, reflecting a significant lack of trust in national institutions and policies.

Further emphasizing societal distress, Farastkhah referred to the Global Emotions Report by the Gallup Institute, which surveys citizens’ emotional experiences over the past 24 hours. The latest report places Iranians among the top 10 nations for negative emotional experiences, corroborated by daily reports of conflicts over trivial matters. This emotional volatility, combined with economic inequality, paints a troubling picture of the current state of Iranian society.

Didban Iran

Editorial Team