JCPOA, Saudi Ties Should Be Top of Foreign Policy Agenda in Next Admin

JCPOA, Saudi Ties Should Be Top of Foreign Policy Agenda in Next Admin
JCPOA, Saudi Ties Should Be Top of Foreign Policy Agenda in Next Admin

The incoming administration needs to put the state of the 2015 nuclear deal and Iran’s ties with Saudi Arabia on top of its foreign policy agenda, according to an expert on international affairs.
“I think the future of the JCPOA is an important issue that needs to be determined,” Hassan Beheshtipour said in an interview with ISNA. 
He used the abbreviation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, formal name of the nuclear deal which was signed between Iran and world powers, but went out of shape after the United States pulled out in 2018 and Iran scaled down its commitments in response to reimposed American sanctions.
Negotiations are underway in Vienna, Austria, among the JCPOA parties to see if both sides might agree to resume compliance. 
Several rounds of talks have been held so far, but a final agreement has not been reached yet, with less than a moth remaining to president-elect Ebrahim Raeisi’s inauguration, which will see a new administration replace Hassan Rouhani. 
It will likely be upon the next government to conclude the negotiations and implement the agreements. 



Neighborly Priorities 

Resolving issues with Saudi Arabia is another top priority, according to Beheshtipour, since interaction with this country has an important impact on Iran’s ties with other neighboring and regional countries.
“Iran and Saudi Arabia are two neighbors and two major regional powers which are rivals at political, security and economic sectors, but can also cooperate with each other,” he said. 
Over the past two years, he added, Tehran was willing to mend its ties with Riyadh, but the Saudi side did not welcome. 
With challenges facing the kingdom, such as the deadlock in Yemen, it has now decided to enter negotiations with Iran, he said. 
Among other issues the future government needs to attend to, Beheshtipour pointed to the standards of the Financial Action Task Force which Iran is yet to meet completely. 
The next government must give priority to this issue,” he said. 
FATF is an intergovernmental organization that monitors money laundering and terrorism financing worldwide. 
It has called on all countries to adopt a set of standards or it would advise all its members to apply countermeasures.
The Paris-based organization urged Iran to conform to its norms and extended its deadlines several times before finally placing it on a blacklist when its final deadline expired on Feb. 21. 
The Iranian government has prepared four bills proposing legal reforms to meet FATF standards, two of which have not been approved by high authorities. 
“These issues cannot be left undecided because the country’s trade and financial exchanges are interlinked with them,” Beheshtipour said. 

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