Success of Nuclear Talks Hinges on Sanctions Removal

Iran’s top negotiator complained that the Biden administration is repeating some of the mistakes of its predecessor and continuing with the “failed policy” of “maximum pressure” on Tehran
Success of Nuclear Talks Hinges on Sanctions Removal
Success of Nuclear Talks Hinges on Sanctions Removal

The first talks due to be held by Iran’s new government with international powers over the country’s nuclear program will fail unless the US agrees to a key set of conditions, Tehran’s chief negotiator said.
The main objective of the negotiations in Vienna are that the Biden administration rejoins the landmark deal which former US president Donald Trump had unilaterally abandoned while reimposing tough sanctions on Iran.
But Ali Baqeri stressed that any progress on that front must be preceded by the scrapping of all American sanctions, and a guarantee that a future administration in Washington will not once again renege on the agreement as Trump had done.
Speaking to The Independent with the talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action due to resume in Vienna on Monday, Baqeri also complained that the Biden administration was repeating some of the mistakes of its predecessor and continuing with the “failed policy” of “maximum pressure” on Tehran, which has caused “ political bewilderment”.
The warning from Baqeri, who is also a deputy foreign minister, came at a time of rising uncertainty over Iran’s nuclear program. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Wednesday that talks held in Tehran had failed in getting suspended access to the nuclear sites for UN inspectors.
Rafael Grossi, the director general of the IAEA, said the lack of access was posing severe problems for verifying what was taking place and may endanger the survival of the JCPOA.
He added that the agency was “close to the point when I will not be able to guarantee continuity of knowledge”. It was imperative, he wanted to stress, that “we must reach an agreement: we must do it.”
The meeting in Vienna follows the election of the conservative Ebrahim Raeisi last summer in the Iranian presidential election, which was followed by a pause in the talks.
There is widespread recognition among other signatory states that the JCPOA will not properly function unless the US rejoins the deal. An American team will be at the Austrian capital, but will not meet the Iranians, with messages being passed through the other delegations.



Necessary Condition 

But, Baqeri told The Independent: “The removal of all JCPOA related sanctions such as the sanctions imposed within the framework of ‘maximum pressure’ campaign is the necessary condition for success of the negotiations.”
“Demanding guarantees from the other party not to exit the deal, not to impose and enforce new sanctions, and not to reinstate and reapply the previous sanctions is aimed at neutralizing the possibility that political chaos in the United States could have an impact on its international behavior.”
Senior diplomats say the Americans are prepared to drop some of the sanctions.
The Biden administration, it is believed, would consider stating that it would not leave the JCPOA if it rejoined. But it is incapable, under the constitution, of putting such strictures on future administrations.
Trump’s defeat in the 2020 US presidential election appeared to promise the rebirth of the nuclear agreement, with the Biden team laying out the prospect of Washington getting back to it in the first year and even expanding it to something “longer and stronger” and include other issues relating to Iran.
There was said to be a possible preliminary agreement on the terms future negotiations between Washington and Tehran when the talks adjourned five months ago.
But little has moved forward since then with no further talks and the bulk of the US sanctions staying in place. 
Meanwhile, Tehran complains that the Biden administration is not taking the necessary steps to kickstart the talks. Baqeri commented, “Regrettably, the failed policy of pursuing the maximum pressure campaign, which began in the Trump administration, remains in the agenda of the Biden administration.



Political Bewilderment

“President Biden needs to remove the sanctions in order to relieve himself of what we see as political bewilderment and the pursuit of failed and inhumane policies of the Trump administration.”
While failing to advance talks on the nuclear issue, the Biden’s administration’s actions on another major foreign policy concern, retreating from Afghanistan, had damaged its credibility in the Middle East and helped Iran’s relations with countries in the region, Baqeri Kani maintained.
“The US escape from Afghanistan demonstrated yet another instance where the United States is not a reliable partner for anyone. We are in close, constant and intense dialogue with countries of the region”, he said.

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