John Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for International and Strategic Policy in Washington, ruled out the resumption of diplomatic relations between Washington and Tehran at this stage, even if direct meetings took place between officials from the two countries, in light of the stable perceptions of each side towards the other.

Speaking to the episode (2023/6/8) of the program "From Washington", he explained that the US efforts to return to the nuclear agreement, and before it reached it by the administration of former President Barack Obama, is only an attempt to reach a stage that allows dealing with the Iranian side, and to walk on a positive path to manage the relationship between the two countries.

The British newspaper "Financial Times" reported that US envoy to Iran Robert Malley met with Tehran's representative to the United Nations, Amir Seyed Iravani, several times recently, pointing out that this meeting is the first direct meeting between the United States and Iranian officials since former US President Donald Trump announced in 2018 to withdraw from the nuclear deal.

Speaking to a program from Washington, Alterman noted that veterans of the Obama administration, who are now in the administration of current President Joe Biden, see Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal as losing a path from which they aimed to control Iran's troubling activities.

He attributed the possibility of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries to what is stable in the Iranian mentality towards the United States, considering it an enemy aimed at destroying it completely, which makes it different in his estimation from Iran's relationship with Saudi Arabia, despite the crises between them, they are neighbors with common things.

He also pointed out that Tehran has a crisis, as it believes that the weakness of its capabilities in front of Washington, pushes it to misbehave, in an attempt not to appear weak, which blocks the way for the United States to return to the nuclear agreement, adding in this context that "both sides are acting in ways that affect the ability of the other party to implement what it desires."

War Option

On whether war is an option in light of the continued tension in the relations of the two countries, Alterman ruled this out, as neither side wants to enter into this war, fearing what it could lead to, stressing that most of the American people and their politicians are not eager to enter into any war.

The former Lebanese ambassador to Chile, Canada and Poland, Massoud Maalouf, pointed out that the Iranian regime, since its founding about 44 years ago, has indoctrinated its masses with hostile attitudes towards the United States, considering that the latter is working to destroy Iran and does not want it to live a normal life, and therefore the return of diplomatic relations is unlikely.

But he also pointed out in his interview with the program "From Washington" that successive administrations in the United States had negative attitudes towards Tehran, and the matter extended to international forums, the latest of which was the summit meeting of the G7 countries, where Washington was keen that the latest statement includes criticism of Iran.

He ruled out any progress in relations between the two sides under the current Iranian regime, due to its very distant positions towards Washington and its lack of desire to return to the nuclear agreement, in light of setting impossible conditions for this return.

Regarding Trump's admission that he kept a secret document that talks about a military action plan against Iran that includes invasion, Maalouf was not surprised by the existence of this plan, justifying this as it is normal for the military services to prepare various studies to deal with any country that takes a hostile position towards it, including studying the military option.