by Xu Hailin, based on conversations with Li Weijian, a senior research fellow with the Center for West Asian and African Studies
Iran has been striving to overcome the crisis in its relations with the US. Although the Islamic Republic has taken some tough steps, such as shooting down a US military drone in June and seizing a British tanker in July, or ratcheting up the rhetoric against the US, Tehran doesn’t want to break down its ties with Washington.
Iran is more concerned about how to get US sanctions lifted, as they have caused a series of problems within the country. So, in addition to taking a tough line against the US, Iran is also seeking help from the international community.
The two countries are locked in a stalemate. The US could continue its maximum pressure campaign, but it is not likely to launch a war against Iran. In the meantime, Iran cannot afford to be stuck in such a stagnant situation much longer. As such, third party forces are extremely important and could play an even bigger role in the future.
During sideline talks at the G7 summit in France on Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held “constructive” talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and French President Emmanuel Macron and gave a joint briefing to German and British officials, the BBC reported on Monday. Continue reading