Iran nuclear talks set to resume
- Iran talks resume with world powers after a five-month hiatus.
- The United States is to resume indirect negotiations with Iran in Vienna.
- But is far less optimistic than in the spring about the possibility of saving the Iranian nuclear deal.
- Talks between world powers and Iran on salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal will resume in Vienna after a five-month hiatus, but expectations of a breakthrough are low.
- The talks between the remaining partners to the deal — Iran, China, Russia, Germany, France and the U.K. —will restart.
- The U.S. will also send a delegation, headed by Washington’s Special Envoy for Iran, which will participate in the talks indirectly.
- The talks could liberate Iran from hundreds of western economic sanctions or lead to a tightening of the economic noose and the intensified threat of military attacks by Israel.
- The scale of Iran’s negotiating demands, ideological outlook of Iran’s new administration and western fears that Iran is covertly boosting its nuclear programme has created a sense of pessimism.
- Lifting economic sanctions remains a popular objective inside Iran, but the current regime have done little to prepare the nation politically for the compromises that might be necessary.
- Iran has long emphasised that it expects Washington to remove all sanctions that are “related to the nuclear deal”, including 1,500 individual sanctions.
- Joe Biden has offered to take the US back into the nuclear deal that Donald Trump left in 2018.
- Iran and the US are in dispute over the precise US sanctions that must be lifted.
- The new Iranian regime play new cards: including a demand for financial compensation from America for previous sanctions, and for a guarantee that America will not leave the agreement again.
- The west regards both demands as unrealistic, and if seriously pursued in Vienna, the talks are doomed to failure.
- The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a detailed agreement with five annexes reached by Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States).
- The nuclear deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
- Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA is verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) according to certain requirements set forth in the agreement.
- Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
- Nuclear restrictions: Iran agreed not to produce either the highly enriched uranium or the plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon.
- The IAEA has issued quarterly reports to its board of governors and the UN Security Council on Iran’s implementation of its nuclear commitments.
- The agreement got off to a fairly smooth start. The IAEA certified in early 2016 that Iran had met its preliminary pledges.
- The deal has been near collapse since President Trump withdrew the United States from it in 2018 and reinstated devastating banking and oil sanctions.
- Iran accused the United States of reneging on its commitments, and faulted Europe for submitting to U.S. unilateralism.