US State Department Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that Iran and the world’s major powers will restart negotiations to resume the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement this weekend.
Sherman said that Biden administration officials had hoped to reach an agreement with Iran before the Iranian presidential election on June 18, which may complicate negotiations.
Sherman said in an online event organized by the German Marshall Foundation, “I know that negotiations will be restarted next week.”
Sherman, who was a member of the Obama administration team that negotiated the initial agreement with Iran, said, “I think a lot of progress has been made, but based on my own experience, until the last detail is finalized, I mean it’s confirmed so that we can know whether we have reached an agreement.”
This round of talks aims to revive the landmark Iranian nuclear agreement, according to which Iran agreed to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions against Tehran, and opened up the short-term thaw of the decades-long US-Iran confrontation. the way.
Four diplomats, two Iranian officials, and two analysts told Reuters that before the talks, many obstacles to the restoration of the Iran nuclear agreement still existed, indicating that there is still a long way to go to re-comply with the signing of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. go.
Sherman added, “Of course, this is complicated because Iran will hold a presidential election in just a few days.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a pragmatist who promoted the initial agreement. It is widely expected that Rouhani will be a hardline successor.
According to Al Jazeera, among the six candidates led by conservatives and hardliners, Iranian Judicial Director Ibrahim Lacey is considered to be the frontrunner in the upcoming presidential election.
Former US President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement in 2018, claiming that the agreement will make Tehran a nuclear power.
Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran and implemented a policy of “maximum pressure”. Iran’s response was to stop fulfilling the provisions of the Iran nuclear agreement and reinvest in Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities.
Biden tried to restore the restrictions on Iran in the nuclear agreement, and is committed to expanding the restrictions to include Iran’s regional actions and missile programs if possible.
Iran wants to lift all sanctions and does not want to expand the restrictions.
On June 8, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken stated before the U.S. Senate committee that the U.S. is unlikely to lift all sanctions on Iran.
Brinken said that if Iran returns to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement that restricts its development of nuclear weapons, the United States will lift sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, but will not lift sanctions imposed on Iran due to alleged aggression.
Brinken said, “I expect that even if we return to the Iran nuclear agreement…Hundreds of sanctions will still exist, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.”
The Secretary of State of the United States stated that “if these (sanctions) are inconsistent with the provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, they will continue to exist unless Iran’s behavior is seen to change.” Blinken used the official name of the agreement signed in 2015, which is the “Joint Comprehensive Action Plan”. Comprehensive Action Plan (Iran Nuclear Agreement).
Brinken said that Iran’s development trajectory after it withdrew from the agreement put it on the road to obtain enough fissile material for nuclear bombs within a few months.
In the Gulf region, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have abandoned their efforts to restore the Iran nuclear agreement. The two countries have been in contact with Tehran to contain tensions while lobbying for future talks to consider their security issues.
The Chairman of the Gulf Research Center Abdul Aziz Sagar-who has been actively participating in the unofficial dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran-told Reuters this week, “The Gulf countries have already said,’Okay. Well, the United States can return (the Iranian nuclear agreement). This is their decision. We cannot change it, but… we need everyone to consider regional security issues.”