Weeks are crucial to determine the fate of the Iranian nuclear deal, while the positions of the participating countries still vary between adhering to it as it is or renewing some of its provisions.
The Iranian nuclear deal sparked an international political whirlwind since its signing in 2015, through Washington’s withdrawal from it in 2018, and not ending with the new US President Joe Biden’s announcement of its desire to reactivate it.
Six years of the life of the agreement, which required about 20 months of negotiations, has passed, but its fate today is more than any other day at stake. International Energy Agency inspectors.
Until the reality of returning to work becomes clear, these are the most important positions expressed by the parties to the agreement:
The issue of Washington’s return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) remains unresolved in form and mechanism, while it is beset with obstacles that make it.Far awayIn the words of US National Security Director Avril Haines.
And despite President Joe Biden’s pledge to return to the agreement repeatedly during his election campaign, And repeating the promise With the lifting of sanctions on Iran in the event that the latter returns to the agreement, after its victory, matters began to move towards more complications with the issue of re-negotiating the nuclear program and expanding it to include parties and other issues.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, in his first statement about the agreement, hastened to link commitment to the agreement with the work to reach a “stronger agreement” that includes the ballistic missile program and Tehran’s policies that are “destabilizing the Middle East,” as he put it, a matter that Iran has always made clear its refusal to negotiate.
The United States suspends its return to the nuclear agreement on “Tehran’s fulfillment of its obligations,” as Blinken put it, and affirms that its return is dependent on the return of Iran, which kept its commitments despite the many dangers that almost prompted it to withdraw from it Like the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem SoleimaniAnd the US sanctions that included dozens of people and entities, and recently the assassination of the world Mohsen Fakhryzadeh.
Some commentators have seen the appointment of one of the sponsors of the nuclear agreement in the term of former President Barack Obama, Robert MalleyA special envoy on Iran, an expression of Biden’s desire to return to the nuclear agreement, but this appointment has another explanation: What if Mali’s appointment aims to enhance diplomacy in negotiating with Iran for a new agreement?
This ambiguity, thus far, in Washington’s position, prompted some commentators To doubt In Washington’s intention to achieve what it pledged, and to assure that it will not completely give up the use of the sanctions imposed by the previous administration to push Iran to make basic concessions, especially with regard to stopping uranium enrichment by 20% and giving up all enriched in its stockpile of uranium.
Iran, headed by Sheikh Hassan Rouhani, wants to return to the nuclear deal soon, allowing the damaging effects of US sanctions to be mitigated on various sectors of the economy, including The medical sectionAnd confirms the validity of Rouhani’s “bet” on a “diplomatic solution” with Washington.
The Iranian president announced, earlier, that “the way is open” for the US government to return, and that “it has chosen a correct path, and we are ready,” a position that most Iranian officials adhered to, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who Considered The US president faces the “opportunity” to “return to the bargain” abandoned by his predecessor, and if he does, “Iran will likewise return to full implementation of its obligations.”
However, Iran’s welcome to restore the 2015 agreement is limited by complete opposition to any proposals calling for a new negotiation or for the return of Washington without a comprehensive lifting of the sanctions imposed by the United States.
Officials fear that the Biden administration may avoid fulfilling all its obligations to the agreement – like previous administrations – and this is why suggest Shura Council Speaker Muhammad Baqir Qalibaf, abolishing penalties before returning to the “unholy” agreement.
The most prominent position Announce it Ali Khamenei affirmed his commitment to support allies and friends in the region, thus cutting off the possibility of expanding the terms of the agreement to include this issue, and indicating that Tehran “is not insisting on America’s return to the agreement, but is only interested in lifting sanctions on it.”
Therefore, Iran considers that the responsibility for reactivating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action depends on Washington, which withdrew from it in May 2018, and expresses its astonishment at the parties that demand it to shoulder its responsibility towards the agreement.The ball is in America’s court“.
And Tehran always confirms its rejection of any New negotiations Through it, different articles are imposed from the “2015 agreement” or other parties to the agreement are included, considering that the main problem from Iran’s point of view is “the American withdrawal and the sanctions imposed on it,” and not the agreement itself.
China and Russia
The two countries participating in the signing of the nuclear deal agree to support Tehran’s position on the “unconditional” return of Washington, and are clearly opposing the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the agreement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Confirmed Moscow’s interest in “fully preserving this important agreement document,” and clarified that his country has a “common position” with Tehran on preserving it.
The Russian deputy representative to the United Nations, Dmitry Poliansky, also stressed that Washington’s return to the nuclear deal “depends on a decision taken by the new US administration, which should not be conditional.”
As for China, its Foreign Ministry called for Washington to return to the agreement “without preconditions and as soon as possible”, in conjunction with the lifting of all sanctions imposed on Iran and on entities and individuals.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs put forward 4 proposals in this regard, the first of which is to firmly adhere to the agreement, promote the early return of the United States to it, and settle differences in a fair and objective manner during the implementation of the agreement, and the fourth proposal relates to properly dealing with regional security issues.
Contrary to Chinese and Russian clarity regarding the immediate return of the agreement, the three European countries participating in the agreement (Germany, France, and Britain) issued positions that show reluctance to decide whether or not to re-work the agreement.
There have been shifts in the position recently Advertise European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said last July that the parties to the nuclear deal “must do whatever is required to preserve it.”
Although the European Union has expressed its desire to: Cooperation with Washington On the Iranian file, and the US special envoy to Iran began to speak with officials from Britain, France and Germany to discuss ways to revive the nuclear agreement, the statements of European officials reflect disparities within the European ranks and a tendency to demand a new agreement instead of adhering to the current agreement.
The most expressive statement about the European retreat from its commitments came from French President Emmanuel Macron, who spoke of a “mistake.” Exclusion of regional powers Like Saudi Arabia about the agreement, which he demanded to participate in the new agreement that would be “very hard” towards Iran.
As for the German foreign minister, he previously announced, in December, that “returning to the current agreement will not suffice,” indicating that the agreement should include additions “no nuclear weapons but also no ballistic missile program that threatens the whole region.”
The United Kingdom did not deviate from the position of its European partners, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously called for changes to the nuclear agreement, while this was accompanied by his call for Tehran to return to the agreement.