Sadeq Zibakalam said in an interview "Mr. Rouhani said something during the campaigns which many of his rivals tired to misuse in the electoral debates. He said that we have to ‘hammer things out with the chief.’”
"Despite attempts by the Principalists to misuse this statement, what Mr. Rouhani said was clear. He meant that instead of negotiating the US via intermediates such as Qatar, Turkey, Oman, or Germany, why should we not talk directly to the US?” he continued.
Zibakalam stated "In fact expectations of détente with the West and especially with the US were one of the main reasons for voting for Rouhani. To put it another way, I may say that to improve relations, or to make friends, with the world was one of the expectations by those who voted for Rouhani.”
"Of course radical Principalists will beat the drum for enmity with the West and especially the US, and they are sure to hinder any attempt by Rouhani to make détente with the US,” Zibakalam reassured.
"But,” he added "if the people’s vote is anything, only a 15 percent minority (Jalili’s votes) do still demand enmity with the US, while on the other hand the majority of the voters do not ask for enmity and confrontation with the west.”
He continued "So, if the Principalists hinder changes in Iran’s foreign policy, it will be in contrast to the majority vote.”
"But the mere public demand and the President’s willingness alone are not enough to make any change in the inimical outlook towards the West. As far as the US is concerned, any move toward détente requires a relief in nuclear talks. If there is no progress in the nuclear dead end, there will be no practical change in relations with the US or the EU and the West in general,” he asserted.
Zibakalam added "It is here that Mr. Rouhani faces his biggest presidential challenge. If he is unable to further the nuclear dead end, he will not succeed in breaking the ice in relations with the West.”