Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Time for diplomacy – European and US efforts to “revive” Iran’s nuclear deal / Article / LSM.lv


The United States announced last week that it was ready to meet with Iran and withdrew from the threat of former President Donald Trump that new UN sanctions would be imposed on Iran. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to “revive” the agreement are being continued by the European Union, which sees the US readiness to sit down at the negotiating table as a positive step. However, the light at the end of the tunnel is still not visible. This is because neither the United States nor Iran wants to make concessions first.

Time for diplomacy – European and US efforts to “revive” Iran’s nuclear dealRihards Plūme

In 2015, Iran signed agreements with the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, pledging to limit its nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions. However, the agreement is on the verge of collapse since the United States withdrew from the agreement and renewed sanctions against the Iranian economy.

New US President Joe Biden has expressed a desire to return to “prudent diplomacy.” The United States has stated its readiness to meet with Iran and has withdrawn from the threat of former President Donald Trump that new UN sanctions will be imposed on Iran.

The European Union has taken on the role of mediator between the United States and Iran.

Its spokesman, Peter Stano, said it was time for diplomacy and that it had been quite active in recent weeks. According to him, the readiness of the United States to meet with Iran creates the necessary conditions for the continuation of diplomatic efforts.

“It creates a place and conditions to continue all these diplomatic efforts that have been made in recent weeks. The European Union’s priority is to work hard to get this agreement back on track. And that means getting Iran back on track and working to try to get the United States back on the negotiating table, “Stano said.

The European Union’s political director, Enrique Mora, has proposed an informal meeting between the United States and Iran, noting that the moment is critical. However, no specific date is currently specified.

Biden has played a key role in the viability of the agreement, but has previously criticized the possibility of lifting sanctions against Iran and said that Tehran should return to full compliance with the agreement. Although the Baiden administration appears to have made progress against Tehran with a statement on its readiness to sit down at the negotiating table and the non-imposition of UN sanctions, Iran does not intend to make concessions. The United States must be the first to return to the nuclear pact and lift the sanctions, President Hassan Ruhani emphasized.

Iran has previously warned that it will limit International Atomic Energy Agency inspections if the US does not lift the sanctions, and the United States has not done so. Experts warn that such a move by Tehran could significantly complicate the chances of reaching an agreement and significantly undermine mutual trust between the nuclear pact countries.

The key question is how firmly the US and Iran will stick to their positions in the future and who will “blink first”.

Hudson Institute researcher Michael Pregent fears that the Baiden administration could take steps to return the United States to nuclear power without any preconditions, but he said that would be a big mistake. “Europeans, Russians and Chinese, including Israelis, Saudi Arabia and the United States, will not allow Iran to become a nuclear threat in the region.

Iran is using these provocations, these threats, to make concessions and thus lift sanctions. And the Baiden administration should keep up the pressure.

Tehran will not be the one to decide what this agreement will look like. These are the United States, which has all the unnecessary levers. The regime is currently on the road due to sanctions, it is in a desperate situation. And these threats and demands have paid off in the past under other administrations, even before Trump. But now it will not pay off and it should not pay off. It is to be hoped that the Baiden administration will stand firm. Iran missed its chances of defining an agreement. It is now cheating everyone – Russia, China, Britain, Germany, France and the European Union – and remains unpunished. And should the US be the ones to come as the savior? Absolutely not! ” expressed the Pregents.

According to Michael Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, significant tectonic changes have taken place in the region since 2015, which the Baiden administration did not understand when it took office, but it is gradually beginning to be understood. He said Iran was still a threat to the international community and easing sanctions against the Tehran regime would be Baiden’s mistake.

“Iran has taken some actions that are very difficult to reverse. Until recently, the International Atomic Energy Agency announced the discovery that Iran is producing uranium metal. The regime mentioned that it was needed for reactor fuel. But I think people understand that uranium metal is mainly used to make nuclear warheads. “It shows how dangerous the threat to Iran is, and why I think it was right to withdraw from the agreement, and why I think Biden is trying to pursue a hopeless policy by trying to revive the agreement,” Bolton said.

It is important to mention that the outcome of the forthcoming Iranian presidential elections in mid-June may also play a major role in reaching an agreement. Namely, an even tougher and more anti-American president could be elected, in which case the “revival” of the agreement could become even more difficult.

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