Tehran returns to nuclear negotiations

It is a meeting that will be a test of Iranian intentions. After a five-month suspension, nuclear talks with Iran will resume in Vienna in a few days.

Negotiations to bring Iran and the United States back in the 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear program, which began in April, have stalled since the election in June of a new president in Tehran, Ebrahim. Raisi. While the Americans and Iranians had agreed on the main principles of a compromise, their resumption should allow the powers parties to the agreement to verify an essential point: is the new Iranian administration ready to resume negotiations there where she had been interrupted?

“From Tehran’s point of view, an agreement should make it possible to lift a significant portion of American sanctions, so as to revive the Iranian economy, analysis Pierre Razoux, from the FMES institute. To negotiate from a position of strength, Iran is raising the stakes by enriching uranium in quantities and to a level well above the limits agreed in 2015 and by obstructing the access of the International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA) at certain facilities. “

The United States left the deal in 2018, under the Trump presidency. In the name of a strategy of “maximum pressure”, the latter reinstated all the sanctions, adding many others. In return, Iran has freed itself from restrictions on its nuclear program. The IAEA’s board of governors will consider the agency’s latest report from November 24 to 25, following a visit to Tehran by its director general, Rafael Grossi.

“Time is running out for a return to the agreement”, warned Robert Malley, on tour last week in the Gulf countries. US special envoy to Iran reported talks “Constructive” with Russia and China for “Harmonize our approaches”. For his part, Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to President Biden, raised the idea of ​​an interim agreement: in exchange for Iran freezing its enrichment activities beyond the authorized limit. , the United States would release Iranian assets or lift part of the sanctions.

“Iran has yet to make the strategic decision that the 2015 deal is no longer in its best interests, but it believes the United States is neither ready nor able to offer it real and lasting relief Sanctions, decrypts Ali Vaez, of the International Crisis Group. If the negotiators will goIf they seek to get more for less, the result will be a diplomatic impasse. The mistrust between Iran and the United States remains the main obstacle to the restoration of the 2015 agreement. “


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