“The Supreme Leader will give permission for bilateral talks with the United States if he deems it necessary, the director of the Strategic Research Center of Iran’s Expediency Council said on Wednesday. The relationship with the United States is different than the relationship with other countries because the United States has always been hostile toward the Islamic Republic of Iran after the Islamic Revolution, which can be established through coordination by the Supreme Leader in the proper circumstances and if it meets national interests,” said Hassan Rohani, the Supreme Leader’s representative at Supreme National Security Council, whose secretary is Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. It is not the Supreme Leader’s view that Iran and the United States should not have negotiations and relations until the Day of Judgment………………….”
What he is saying is that we will not necessarily have to wait for the return of our Mahdi, or the Rapture if you prefer, before Iran and the United States can sit down and negotiate bilaterally. It looks like there is some softening in the Iranian position, most likely a reaction to some softening in the Western position. Possibly a result of the Western realization that although the blockade is hurting the Iranians, they can survive it.
Possibly a result of the realization that all the political talk of “all options are on the table” rings hollow: all options are NOT really on the table, only FEASIBLE options are. Only last month Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei dismissed the idea of direct bilateral negotiations with the USA (which probably means indirect negotiations with Israel as well on this nuclear case). But then the Iranians are diverse, there are various opinions expressed on each issue through their media. And this is an election year: not every opinion expressed represents a consensus. Maybe they ought to get a negotiator like William Shatner to mediate.