A Reuters analysis expects that the attempts to revive the nuclear agreement with Iran and the United States’ return to it will face many obstacles and challenges.
While it took seven years to start negotiations between the United States and Iran until the nuclear agreement was reached in 2015 to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the analysis does not expect that it will take such a time to determine whether Washington will return to the agreement from which the US President withdrew. The former, Donald Trump, in 2018.
The administration of the new US President, Joe Biden, has more than once expressed the possibility of holding talks with Iran on the return of the two countries to abide by the agreement, most recently, Thursday, when it announced its willingness to send its special envoy, Rob Mali, to meet with Iranian officials and discuss how to reach the revival of the agreement, but it stipulates The beginning of Tehran’s return to fully respect its obligations.
The analysis believes that the Iranian response to the US invitation was strict, when the Foreign Minister of Tehran, Muhammad Javad Zarif, stressed the need for an unconditional lifting of all sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump, after his withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, in 2018.
After nearly a year of this withdrawal, Iran began to gradually backtrack on many of its basic obligations under the agreement known as the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” whose legal framework was established by a UN Security Council resolution bearing the number 2231.
Britain, France and Germany welcomed Biden’s intention to return to diplomacy with Iran. But Zarif replied that Washington should take the first step.
Iran has accelerated the pace of violations in the past few months, and is disagreeing with the Biden administration over who should act first to salvage the deal.
An American official told Reuters that he does not see much difficulty in determining how to revive the agreement, whose terms are detailed in 110 pages, nor who should take the first step. The biggest challenge may be to define what compliance means, from each side’s point of view. ”
He explained, “For example, the US sanctions that can be lifted and the steps that Iran has taken to violate the agreement in retaliation for the US withdrawal. Is it possible to withdraw all of them as if they had not been?”
The Iranian side calls on the United States to lift all the sanctions imposed by Trump, but the matter is not that easy, according to the analysis.
When Iran concluded the nuclear deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, the deal included Washington removing only “nuclear program” sanctions on Iran.
However, after Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018, he imposed on Tehran dozens of sanctions that were not related to Iran’s nuclear activities, and for other reasons such as its support for terrorism and ballistic missiles.
Experts believe that Biden will find it impossible to meet Tehran’s demands to lift some sanctions, because he will be met with a campaign of criticism from Republicans and perhaps some Democrats as well.
“This is a very sensitive issue politically in the United States because a number of them (sanctions) are linked to terrorism,” analyst Henry Rom of the Eurasia Group told Reuters, adding that the two sides “will need to engage in a complex process of negotiation to decide what sanctions are.” They can be removed and the ones that will be kept. ”
There are other challenges that Reuters refers to, including those related to Iran’s support for regional proxies, which include those suspected of carrying out operations against US forces, as is happening in Iraq, which makes it difficult for Washington to make concessions to Tehran.
The crisis of American citizens detained by Iran is another obstacle to reaching an understanding between Washington and Tehran, and Washington announced talks about them recently through Swiss mediation.
Sullivan: Washington has begun communicating with Tehran about the Americans in its custody
On the other hand, Iran’s retreat from its series of violations of the nuclear agreement constitutes an additional obstacle to a return to the nuclear agreement.
Among the latest measures to backtrack on commitments, Tehran announced in early January the start of uranium enrichment measures at 20 percent, which it was adopting prior to the 2015 agreement that limited the enrichment level at 3.67 percent, which can be reversed, such as reversing Tehran’s recent decision to reduce Inspections conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
International Atomic Energy Agency: No change in the number of inspectors in Iran
The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency announced, on Sunday, that a “temporary agreement” was reached with Iran on inspecting its nuclear facilities to continue verification and monitoring activities “necessary for Iran’s nuclear activities.
But the crisis lies in the difficulty of retreating, for example, from the experiences gained from research and development of advanced centrifuges that would help Iran enrich uranium to the level of 90 percent for weapons classification if it sought to do so, according to what an analyst at the Brookings Institution Research Institute, Robert Einhorn said, To Reuters.
However, the fragile economy that Iran faces due to US sanctions, as well as the Corona epidemic, makes Tehran very few options other than negotiating.
A French diplomatic source said that the shift in Washington’s position represents an opportunity for Iran, but that the road is full of obstacles.
“We are still in a difficult situation,” he added, adding that if Iran ignored these warnings, there would likely be a “very drastic response.”
#International #Atomic #Energy #Agency #change #number #inspectors #Iran