Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Council.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A top Iranian official on Monday ruled out any possibility that an agreement with the West over the nuclear issue could eventually lead to a full resumption of diplomatic ties with the United States.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Council, said that while a deal on the Iranian nuclear program would go a long way toward defusing tensions with the West, there are no plans to strive for a full-fledged rapprochement with Washington.
Shamkhani told the Financial Times
both sides “can behave in a way that they do not use their energy against each other [in the region]. A nuclear agreement can be very crucial in this regard.”
“Everything will depend on the honesty of the Americans in the nuclear talks," he said.
Shamkhani, a former defense minister, is considered a respected voice on foreign policy matters who has the ear of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
He told the newspaper that Iran's diplomacy with the United States would be strictly limited to the nuclear issue.
sounded upbeat regarding the Islamic Republic's burgeoning regional influence, citing the continued survival of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria as well as the Iranian role in facilitating the relatively stable political transition in Iraq.