By Nader Uskowi
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a major speech in Karaj declared Iran’s victory in its struggle with the West over the nuclear issues and said Iran was open to cooperation with the West based on its victory.
“The [West] exerted intense political pressure and propaganda against us, they passed one sanctions resolution after another, but at the end Iran came out as the victor in the struggle of the last few years,” Ahmadinejad said [IRNA, 28 November].
“We expect all the [Western] governments that have sent us messages of cooperation not to act in hostile and retaliatory manners against us.”
"We are open to cooperation based on our rights," Ahmadinejad added.
The tone and the substance of Ahmadinejad’s speech strengthen the possibility of a compromise in future talks between Iran and the West. Iran needed to declare a victory on uranium enrichment, what Ahmadinejad did today in Karaj. It now needs to go beyond this declaration and find an acceptable compromise with the West to put an end to the sanctions, something that Iran needs to do to successfully manage its subsidy removal program, a priority for Ahmadinejad administration. The Istanbul talks in January could be the beginning of a series of talks, probably followed in Brazil and Tehran, to seal the deal with the West.