Western countries want to save the nuclear deal with Iran

After months of interruption, representatives from Germany, Russia, China, France and Great Britain resumed negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran in Vienna.

It’s about salvaging the 2015 agreement to prevent Iran’s nuclear weapons.

The United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran. Since then, the fronts have hardened and there is not much agreement left. To get a deal, Washington would have to lift its economic sanctions and Iran would have to scale back its nuclear program.

There is currently no talk of de-escalation of the diplomatic conflict. According to the diplomats involved, the results can only be obtained after months of discussions at the earliest.

Sanam Vakil, an expert and research fellow at Chatham House, sees the negotiations as difficult: “There are two important requirements: First, you want all the sanctions that have been imposed on Iran since the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal. The will is lifted.

In the expert’s opinion, there is a second, more important point: “You want assurance that no other signatory to the agreement will be able to withdraw from the agreement as the United States did.”

Sanam Vakil also questions whether the United States currently has the majority needed to change course in Iran’s policy. “If the United States wants to take a different approach or a different arrangement, the US president must obtain congressional approval for all changes. It is unclear whether Biden will gain support for such actions.”

Western countries fear that Iran has greatly expanded its non-civilian nuclear program. The UN nuclear inspectors can no longer fully monitor the situation in the country since Tehran imposed restrictions on their access. In response to the US exit, Iran expanded its nuclear facilities, produced nearly weapons-grade uranium, and restricted international inspections.

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Iran’s chief negotiator did not consider his papers for the time being on Monday. “We are entering the new round of negotiations well-prepared and very resolute, and we will continually enforce our demand for the lifting of sanctions,” he said.

The agreement was negotiated in Vienna six years ago, and was supposed to prevent the building of nuclear weapons by imposing strict conditions on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In return, Western sanctions were lifted at that time. Reintroduced by the United States in 2018, it has had massive repercussions on the Iranian economy.

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