Ahmad Tavakoli

Iranian MP Ahmad Tavakoli has sent a letter to President Hassan Rohani that slams provisions of the Geneva agreement, questioning why the Iranian delegation agreed to get approval from the U.S. about the companies it chooses to trade with.

Tavakoli asks why the Iranian side has agreed to allow the opposing party to designate the domestic and international banks involved in the country’s oil trade and foreign exchange transactions.

According to Tavakoli, the foreign ministry has proposed eight companies to the 5+1 as companies it will trade with for essential goods, but only four of those were accepted. Tavakoli asks Rohani: “Were you aware, sir, that these four companies are American companies? Were you aware that these very same four companies refused to trade with Iran during the Holy Defence? “

The Iranian establishment refers to the eight-year Iran-Iraq War in the eighties as the Holy Defence.

Tavakoli maintains that the Americans’ insistence on controlling the companies Iran trades with is an attempt to “humiliate” Iran.

He adds that the United States is perhaps also trying to make itself the sole provider of essential goods to Iran to give itself leverage and strengthen domestic monopolies.

Tavakoli observes that the Geneva Agreement is only the beginning and there is a long way to go in the negotiations, and he warns Rohani that with such concessions, the Iranian delegation is depriving itself of the ability to negotiate an appropriate deal for the country.

Tavakoli’s letter to Rohani was published just as Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief and lead negotiator for the 5+1, arrived in Tehran for a visit on Saturday March 8.