Hossein Mousavian, Visiting Research Scholar, Princeton University, Former Iran’s Ambassador to Germany and Former Spokesman for Iran’s nuclear file met in Berlin with Members of the Bundestag, representatives from government agencies and selected think tanks to discuss the relations between Iran and the Western world, as well as on how both sides could mitigate escalation and to work towards a sustainable political solution.
It was generally agreed that relations between Iran and the West had deteriorated to its lowest point. Yet, both sides had not seemed ready to seek any normalisation of relations. It was pointed out that polls taken in the United States and Israel had shown that the majority of the population was against waging a war with Iran. According to polls taken in the Arab world, the majority of the Arab population did not regard Iranian nuclear programme as a threat.
There was a discussion on whether greater sanctions and military threats would lead Iran to take a more flexible position or if this would only result in a hardening of Iran’s position and to an acceleration of its nuclear programme. It was proposed that negotiations could only be successful if both sides were ready to seek compromises. For example, Iran could limit its nuclear enrichment activity to 5% enrichment level, and the West could lift the oil embargo and the sanctions against the Iranian central bank.
Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.