Even a week ago, the prospects for the revival of the Iranian nuclear agreement seemed bleak, but now it suddenly becomes bright. Hope is not the healthiest attitude sent into world politics-hope is often crushed so cruelly-but there are reasons to be optimistic.
The biggest problem is that senior diplomats from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran who are still parties to the agreement will meet in Vienna on Tuesday to discuss ways to return to the agreement. These provisions will include provisions for Iran to cancel its nuclear activities and other countries to lift sanctions.
No one in the Biden administration will directly participate in this meeting because the United States under President Trump withdrew from the agreement. However, according to a statement issued by diplomats from other countries, including Iran, after a meeting held on Friday, they will have “individual contact” with the United States.
The statement pointed out that “the participants recognized the possibility that the United States will fully return to the JCPOA, which means the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, the official name of the Iran Nuclear Agreement”, and emphasized their commitment to maintaining the JCPOA… and… ensuring the restoration To full and effective implementation. “
After the statement was issued, State Department spokesperson Ned Price confirmed that the United States will participate in indirect negotiations with a view to returning to the agreement.
All this seems to be tentative, but it is still an important step forward. In mid-February, after the French Minister of Foreign Affairs announced the date for a similar meeting, Iran announced that it would not participate in the meeting, so the meeting was cancelled. Since then, Iran’s top diplomat has met with Chinese counterparts and agreed on an agreement that will allow investment and trade, especially oil exports, outside the world’s dollar-dominated financial system. Some observers worry that Biden’s refusal to unilaterally restore the nuclear agreement by lifting sanctions leaves China with an opportunity to take advantage of it, which may kill all opportunities for the agreement to be reborn. However, the China meeting was of no avail and only produced the most vague statements about future cooperation. This may explain why Iran will attend the meeting in Vienna on Tuesday after all.
As a presidential candidate, Biden expressed his strong desire to revive the nuclear agreement. After all, he was vice president when he signed in 2014, and many of his senior advisers, especially Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and CIA Director William Burns (William Burns), played a key role in promoting the talks. They dealt with Iran during the presidency of President Obama.
Since the United States has withdrawn from the deal, even if Iran complies with its terms, Iranian officials have asked Biden to lift sanctions (Trump has imposed sanctions on it) before stopping its nuclear activities (resuming nuclear activities in response to Trump’s withdrawal). . But Biden insisted that Iran take the first step-a position that confuses many supporters of the agreement.
It seems that the French Foreign Minister’s call for a meeting in February may lead to a plan that allows the United States and Iran to take steps simultaneously under European supervision. But then Iran withdrew from the meeting.
Now, this Tuesday’s meeting in Vienna may provide a second chance. Biden wants to restart the transaction. All other signatories want to restart the transaction. Even Iran, which urgently needs to lift economic sanctions, wants to restart transactions, or at least the Iranians who are currently in charge do so. This is where some sense of urgency comes into play. Iran will hold presidential elections in June. The current President Hassan Rouhani and his Foreign Secretary Mohammed Javad Zarif gambled when they started their dialogue with the United States. Since the 1979 revolution, Tehran has formally compared it to Satan. Trump’s withdrawal, apart from his dislike of Iran and Obama’s negotiations, has no other good reasons. This strengthened Tehran’s hardline political faction, just like Trump’s preaching remarks as the Secretary of State (call for regime change) same. , Mike Pompeo.
If a solution cannot be worked out in Vienna next week, the deal will eventually go to the trash can, exacerbating Biden’s reluctance to downplay the tensions in the region.With the desire to get rid of the deadlock and the clear possibility, this is worse than tragedy; it would be a mistake
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