Nuclear Deal Best Possible Way to Deescalate Tehran-West Tensions

The West should obtain a coherent analysis of the political landscape before adopting policies toward the Islamic Republic, Mousavian said
 Nuclear Deal Best Possible Way to Deescalate Tehran-West Tensions
 Nuclear Deal Best Possible Way to Deescalate Tehran-West Tensions

Reviving the 2015 nuclear deal is the best possible mechanism to reduce tensions between Iran and the West, according to a former diplomat. 
“The best route—one that could ultimately alleviate the current crisis—is the revival of the Iran nuclear deal,” Hossein Mousavian said in an article published by the Middle East Eye. 
The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, promised sanctions relief to Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear program, but the United States pulled out in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions that prompted Iran to row back on its commitments.
Negotiations began in April 2021 in Vienna, Austria, to work out how both sides can resume compliance, but have been stalled for months over final differences. 
“Negotiations between Iran and world powers to revive the nuclear deal have turned into a lengthy and fraught process, with no tangible results thus far,” Mousavian said. 
American officials have also said the talks are no longer on the agenda due to other developments, including riots in Iran and accusation of Tehran’s supply of weapons for Russia to be used in its war on Ukraine. 
Robert Malley, the US envoy for Iran, recently declared that the administration was not going to “waste time” on trying to revive the deal, while Tehran was allegedly cracking down on protesters at home and supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Iranian cities have seen protests following the death of a young girl in police custody in late September, which later developed into violent clashes with security forces. 
Officials in Tehran blame the West for provoking and fueling violence among rioters to advance their own political agenda. 
Western countries have also accused Iran of providing Russia with drones for its Ukraine war, which Tehran denies, although admitting that a small number of arial vehicles had been given to Moscow months before the conflict. 
As such, “the revival of the nuclear deal remains in limbo,” Mousavian said. 
Under these circumstances “the West should obtain a coherent analysis of the political landscape before adopting policies toward the Islamic Republic,” according to the expert. 
Contrary to the West’s characterization of recent political developments in Iran, the ongoing social movement does not exhibit the characteristics of a “revolution” that would overthrow the Iranian government, as is often claimed by western media outlets, he explained. 
Mousavian acknowledged that a sizeable segment of the Iranian population—particularly the youth—has a whole range of economic, political and social grievances, which have been aggravated by the US reimposition of sanctions.
However, these grievances and people’s expressions of frustration do not suggest that the Iranian government will be overthrown, he said. 



Bold Decisions 

Moreover, if western powers try to corner Iran and reinstate UN-led sanctions, Tehran would likely withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Mousavian warned.
Iranian officials have implicitly referred to such a move as an option in case negotiations on restoring the JCPOA fail.  
“Any military strike by Israel or the US would likely then push Iran toward building a nuclear weapon,” Mousavian said. 
Therefore, resurrecting the JCPOA remains the best possible mechanism to ensure that Iran does not divert its energies toward building a nuclear bomb, he said. 
“Revival of the deal would deescalate tensions between the West and Iran, and facilitate the international community’s agenda for a Middle East zone free of weapons of mass destruction.” 
His comments came despite the fact that Iran has always denied the ambition to build an atomic bomb, citing a religious decree by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei which bans the production, stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction. 
On the other hand, Mousavian said, the Iranian government must also revive the JCPOA and make bold decisions on economic reforms and more inclusive social policies in order to address the internal dissatisfaction of the Iranian people.
He called for a state decree on “general amnesty for Iranians abroad” to calm the anger of thousands of Iranian expats, many of whom have family and assets in Iran but are too afraid to visit the country.
“In tandem with more inclusive social policies at home and Iranian neutrality with regards to the Ukraine war, a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia would be vital to ensuring peace, stability and security in the Persian Gulf and the broader Middle East,” he added. 
Tehran and Riyadh severed diplomatic relations in 2016, following an attack on the Saudi embassy in response to the kingdom’s execution of a Shia cleric. Five rounds of talks have so far been held in Iraq to repair the ties. 

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