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Decision Day: Iranian Press Generally Pessimistic About The Fate Of JCPOA

Source: Radio Farda

Iranian newspapers from across the political spectrum commented May 8 on the fate of Iran's nuclear deal with the West, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Trump on frontpage of Iranian daily Monaghese

Reports and comments in most Iranian newspapers are generally pessimistic, but reflect the internal political divisions. While newspapers closer to the Rouhani administration followed a more cautious approach, highlighting Iran's conditions to stay in the deal in case of U.S. withdrawal, hardline media adopted a tone of "we told you so".

It appears that most of the articles and comments were prepared before the news about President Donald Trump's scheduled announcement of his decision surfaced. Nevertheless, almost all newspapers and commentators have a dim view of what Trump has to say.

Reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd, has criticized hardline newspapers for taking advantage of the uncertainty about the fate of JCPOA ahead of Trump's possible decision to pull out of the deal with Iran, in order to attack the Rouhani administration.

Aftab-e Yazd commented that one of the implications of hardline media's attitude is the rising value of the US dollar against the Iranian currency rial on the foreign exchange market. Too much pessimism leads to financial panic.

Kaenat daily

Centrist daily Arman stressed that the JCPOA is an international agreement and the United States' unilateral withdrawal from it would not lead to the agreement's collapse.

Meanwhile, Arman quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that JCPOA will not be replaced by a new agreement.

Reformist newspaper Ebtekar gave prominence to a report about Germany, France and UK's foreign ministers' comments in support of the deal in a report headlined "We would stay in the agreement regardless of Trump's decision."

Ebtekar has highlighted a comment by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who said that JCPOA has made the world a safer place, and without it, the world would not be secure.

Reformist daily Etemad featured brief interviews with several commentators and political figures on a possible US pull out. Conservative commentator Amir Mohebbian told Etemad "Iran's conservatives did not share a single view about the JCPOA, yet all of them were pessimistic about the deal with the West for various reasons."

Mohebbian said, "Conservatives do not look forward to the collapse of JCPOA. However, they believe that we should not tie our fate to that of the nuclear deal."

Hardline former politician Mohammad Javad Qadiri Abyaneh said in the interview with Etemad that the JCPOA has already collapsed several times. He opined that "Iran has given many concessions to the US and Europe within the frameworks of JCPOA."

Abyaneh added that Iran should leave the agreement as soon as the US pulls out of it.

MP Mohammad Ali Pourmokhtar also told Etemad that he would not worry about the collapse of JCPOA, as there was nothing left in the deal to benefit Iran.

Both the Rouhani administration-owned daily Iran and hardline newspaper Jomhouri Eslami, which also supports the administration's stance on the JCPOA, highlighted President Hassan Rouhani's comment that Iran would stay in the deal if US withdraws, as long as other parties would stay and Iran's interests are secured.

Iran daily

IRGC-linked hardline daily Javan observed that Zarif has been discussing the fate of the nuclear deal in US with former politicians and political figures who were not part of the US government. However, Javan quoted Zarif as saying that going ahead with the "wrong decision" of pulling out of the deal is not going to be in the United States' interests.

Iranian daily Javan

Hardline daily Kayhan linked to the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei followed its usual line of attacking the JCPOA and the Rouhani administration, going out of its way to even portray the European support for JCPOA in a negative light.

Iranian daily Kayhan

Kayhan's editor Hossein Shariatmadari is appointed by Khamenei and his official title is "representative of the Supreme Leader," which makes him more likely to be echoing Khamenei's ideas.

... Payvand News - 05/08/18 ... --

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