What are prospects of the US-Iran nuclear deal? - Expert comments | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

19 April, Monday

What are prospects of the US-Iran nuclear deal? - Expert comments

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The United States has limits of patience in talks on Iran's nuclear program, but Washington is hoping for a diplomatic solution, said Ned Price, the chief of the Press Service of the State Department of the United States.

"Our patience is not endless, but we believe that the most effective way to make sure that Iran will never acquire a nuclear weapon is through diplomacy. That's what we're doing now," Price said.

The State Department spokesman stressed that all the concrete details of possible agreements with Tehran should be discussed only in negotiations with the participation of the United States and Iran.

Speaking to Eurasia Diary, Ayaz Rzayev, a research fellow at the Topchubashov Center, a Baku-based think tank, shared his comments about the prospects of the US-Iran nuclear deal.

Initially, Rzayev notes that the maximum pressure campaign by the United States against Iran failed.

“President Joe Biden has already said that the “maximum pressure” campaign was a failure and signalled his intent to return to the JCPOA, if Iran returns to nuclear compliance, without any preconditions,” he said.

“Iran, on the other hand, insists that since it was the US, which unilaterally abandoned the nuclear deal, they should take the first step and resume their full compliance by lifting all economic sanctions the previous US government has imposed. So, there are some disagreements between the two sides on how to restart the process,” he added.

Touching upon the negotiations on the revival of the nuclear deal, Rzayev points out that Iran and the US will reengage in talks over reviving the nuclear deal in the coming weeks. However, he also stresses that there is little prospect of the US fully returning to the JCPOA this year.

Moreover, according to his view, the Biden administration has agreed on a compromise in the series of issues with Tehran.

“The new US administration has made a significant concession and announced its intent to accept an invitation from the EU to hold unofficial talks with Iran and the four other signatories of the JCPOA, without any preconditions. By the way, this week Iran also said that it is considering the invitation by the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, which Iran will probably accept. On February 21, Iran also agreed to a three-month nuclear inspections deal with the IAEA,” he noted.

Viewing another concession, Rzayev believes that there are also reports of the Biden administration working with South Korea to free $7 billion in Iranian assets frozen in Korean banks.

“These initial steps will probably result in reviving some of the JCPOA provisions, as part of an interim deal,” he said.

While talking about the serious internal problems Iran faces, he considers that economic hardships will force Iran’s hand and will most probably result in some concessions from hardliners in Tehran in return for some sanctions relief from the US.

Another important point is that Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in his interview to Jerusalem Post that any agreement with Iran should include the end to Iran’s nuclear project, the long-term efficient inspection and the elimination of Iranian entrenchment in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

"The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, answering questions from the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee in Janury, said that the Biden administration sees the JCPOA as a platform to involve US regional allies to further discuss these matters with Iran. This scenario has been outright rejected by Iran. Iran is not going to make any meaningful concessions on these issues. Iran is not going to discuss any addition deals involving Saudi Arabia and Israel that could, from their prospective, compromise Iran’s defence capabilities. This, of course, creates further questions about the long-term viability of the JCPOA itself," he added. 

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