Home Conflicts, Military and War Has the Iranian nuclear agreement reached a dead end?

Has the Iranian nuclear agreement reached a dead end?

Iran's announcement of halting negotiations undermines European delegations' optimism of reaching an imminent agreement
Iranian parliamentarians demand their country's government compel the United States to provide legal guarantees
Senior military leaders in America oppose the negotiations in Vienna

Photo Illustration by Felipe Galindo

In vain, Arab countries and other European Union countries are making intensive efforts to prevent the collapse of the Vienna negotiations between the six major countries and Iran on the Iranian nuclear file, and Tehran to return to compliance with the deal signed in 2015.

And in mid-April, the Iranian negotiating team in the Vienna talks announced the suspension of negotiations with the five permanent members and Germany, after Iranian accusations made by a member of the Tehran negotiating delegation, Muhammad Marandi, to the United States of suddenly changing its behavior and orientation in the negotiations, without further details.

Thus, the recent Iranian position has overthrown months of optimism expressed by European delegations about an imminent reach, and American statements about the possibility of reaching a “close” agreement, and Washington’s belief, based on the statements of State Department spokesman Ned Price on April 4, that there is an opportunity to overcome the remaining differences with Iran. In talks about its nuclear file.

Under the 2015 agreement, the United Nations and several countries lifted economic and military sanctions against Tehran, which invested tens of billions of liberated billions in supporting and financing activities destabilizing security and stability in the region, according to Gulf and US officials.

However, the United States withdrew from the agreement in May 2018 by a decision of its former president, Donald Trump, who re-imposed “maximum pressure” sanctions that prompted Iran to work hard to develop its nuclear program, which Western and Israeli officials believe is close to possessing its weapons. Nuclear.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei blamed the United States for the deadlock in the Vienna negotiations, stressing in his meeting with Iranian officials on April 12 that his country’s future should not be dependent on the outcome of the negotiations.

The Iranian leader’s statements came hours after statements he had published on his personal account in Farsi, in which he spoke that the negotiations are progressing well, and that the negotiating team, the President of the Republic, and the National Security Council should put others in the current situation.

But the Supreme Leader returned to delete this tweet from his personal account, and this time he tweeted in Arabic, saying that “the Americans have reneged on their vows, and it is they who have reached a dead end, not us.”

Iranian parliamentarians are calling on their country’s government to oblige the United States to provide legal guarantees from American decision-making institutions, that the United States will not exit the nuclear agreement in the future under any pretext.

On the other hand, more than 46 senior US military leaders signed a letter addressed to President Joe Biden and members of Congress, in which they opposed the ongoing negotiations in Vienna, and warned of the dangers of reaching an agreement that would allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons, the first state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East and the world.

Since Biden came to the White House in early 2021, there has been talking again about returning to the 2015 agreement, with conditions including: Iran’s full compliance with the terms of the agreement, while Iran stipulated the lifting of sanctions first before signing the agreement in its basic form or a new formula produced by negotiations between the two sides, Iran and the Group of Five Plus Germany (Joint Working Group).

For a whole year, Iran held direct negotiations in Vienna with China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany to revive the nuclear agreement, with the indirect participation of the United States through the European Union, which played the role of coordinator between the Iranian and American sides.

In an atmosphere of optimism from the parties concerned with the nuclear agreement, a number of delegates said in recent weeks, including the Iranian delegation, that there is progress in the course of negotiations, and that there is a possible imminent agreement to be announced after overcoming some differences, which were described as “differences that can be overcome temporarily.” Such as removing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the terrorism list, and what is related to US sanctions, frozen Iranian assets, and other contentious issues.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, indicated that the negotiations with the five countries, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany, “have been completed and there is no point left for discussion,” and that “there remain only Washington’s decisions.”

As a result of the Russian war in Ukraine, the Vienna negotiations stalled for several weeks after Russian demands that Western sanctions on Moscow do not affect its trade relations with Tehran.

Russia received American guarantees regarding its demands regarding its trade relations with Iran, which prompted Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Abdollahian to announce that a new agreement would be reached in the Vienna negotiations.

Experts following the Vienna negotiations believe that the desire of European countries to speed up the return to negotiations and make some concessions to Iran may be linked to the oil market’s need for Iranian oil to compensate for the lack of Russian supplies, while the United States is trying not to make more concessions and urge Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE to increase their oil production.

But the Gulf states are still sticking to their position of not responding to American desires, while emphasizing their right to be an active party in the Vienna negotiations, as these countries, in addition to Israel, are the most affected by the repercussions of Iran’s production of its nuclear weapons in an atmosphere of tense relations with Tehran.

On the other hand, if the joint working group reached an agreement with Iran, it would re-calculate some regional parties in the face of new Iranian challenges after the lifting of sanctions and the liberation of their financial assets.

Among these threats are the possibilities of increasing support for groups allied to Iran, which threaten the security of several countries, including: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel, Iraq and other countries, unless some countries such as Saudi Arabia continue their talks with Tehran; To ease tension in the region, and provide guarantees not to support destabilizing activities or support armed groups, such as the Houthi group in Yemen.

Some Gulf states hope to sign a regional security agreement between the countries of the region, including Iran, after the Joint Working Group and Iran signed the nuclear file agreement, according to statements by Qatari Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khaled Al-Attiyah at the Doha Forum on March 27.

Therefore, the policies of the Biden administration are ultimately seeking to sign an agreement with Iran on its nuclear file, after obtaining guarantees from Tehran, under which it pledges to reduce its movements and the activities of its allied powers in the region, in exchange for removing the Revolutionary Guards from the list of terrorism and synchronizing Return to the 2015 agreement to gradually lift US sanctions.