Negotiations between Iran and world powers on how to revive the 2015 nuclear deal will resume next weekend, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Wednesday.
Officials with the Biden administration are hoping to conclude an agreement with Iran ahead of the June 18 Iranian presidential election, which could complicate discussions, Sherman said.
“I know the negotiations will resume this coming weekend,” Sherman said during a virtual event organized by the German Marshall Fund.
“I think there has been much progress done, but from my own experience until the last detail is cleared, and I mean closed, we don’t know if we have an agreement, ”said Sherman, who was part of the Obama administration team that negotiated the original agreement with Iran.
Discussions seek to revive the marked pact under which Iran has agreed to halt its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions and which had paved the way for a brief thaw in decades of US-Iranian confrontation.
A slew of barriers to the resumption of Iran’s nuclear deal remain firmly in place ahead of talks, suggesting that the return to fulfillment of the 2015 agreement is still far away, with four diplomats, two Iranian officials and two analysts told Reuters press service.
“This is complicated, of course, by the Iranian presidential election, which will take place in a few days,” Sherman added.
President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist who promotes the original agreement, is largely expected to be followed by a tough successor.
Among six candidates dominated by conservatives and hardliners, the Iranian justice chief Ibrahim Raisi he is considered the pioneer of the upcoming elections, Al Jazeera said.
Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 claiming it would allow Tehran a possible path to becoming a nuclear power.
Trump has replaced U.S. sanctions and launched a “maximum pressure” campaign. Iran has responded by violating the limits of the agreement and reinvesting in its uranium enrichment capabilities.
Biden sought to re-establish the agreement’s nuclear limits and, if possible, expand them to cover issues such as Iran’s regional behavior and the missile program.
Iran wants all sanctions lifted and no expansion of terms.
Appearing before a U.S. Senate committee on June 8, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was highly unlikely to remove all of its sanctions from Iran.
If Iran returns to the 2015 agreement that prevents it from developing nuclear weapons, the United States will lift sanctions in relation to Iran’s nuclear program but not those imposed by the US for allegedly aggressive actions, Blinken said.
“I anticipate that even in the event of a return to compliance … hundreds of sanctions will remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration,” Blinken said.
“If they are not inconsistent with the JCPOA, they will remain so until and until Iran’s behavior changes,” Blinken said.
JCPOA is an acronym often used to refer to the official name of the 2015 agreement, the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan.
Blinken said Iran’s trajectory, after abandoning the agreement, would put it on a road to obtaining enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb in a few months.
In the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, resigned over the resurgence of a nuclear pact with Iran, have engaged with Tehran to contain tensions while putting pressure on future talks to address their concerns. security.
“Gulf countries have said‘ well, the United States can come back (to the nuclear deal), it’s their decision that we can’t change it, but … we need everyone to take security issues into account regional, ”Abdulaziz Sager of the Golf Research Center, who has been active in past official Saudi-Iran dialogue, told Reuters this week.