EAST KURDISTAN (IRAN)
2 May 2019 – The leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Qassem Soleimani said this week that Iran will never negotiate with the Trump Administration after the U.S. ended its practice of issuing waivers to countries that buy oil from Iran. The move, announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, is an effort to increase the pressure of economic sanctions on Iran.
“The enemy wants to make us sit at the negotiating table by economic pressures,” Soleimani was quoted as saying on Monday. “Such a negotiation is an instance of surrendering, but our people are vigilant and wise and believe that negotiation with the enemy under the present circumstances means surrendering.”
Soleimani’s comments were noted, primarily because they came as Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in the U.S. trying to generate interest in negotiations over a possible Iran-U.S. prisoner swap.
The Cipher Brief recently spoke with expert Norm Roule, who is also the former National Mission Manager for Iran at ODNI, about how both Soleimani and Zarif have become the most visible faces of Iran’s regional activities and about the differences and similarities over their approaches to the U.S.