Talks to curb Iran's nuclear program resume

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Talks resume to stop Iran's nuclear program

This Thursday they resumed in Vienna the negotiations to reactivate the nuclear agreement2015 with Iran after months of stalemate in an attempt to stop Tehran's technological escalation. It is the first time since March that all the parties to the agreement involved – Iran, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany – have sat down at the negotiating table. The United States has also been present, although indirectly, since Iran has refused direct contact with the North American country. The objective of these negotiations is to save the 2015 agreement, which was to prevent the Islamic Republic from manufacturing nuclear weapons.

This new session of talks “could help to rectify the situation and regain the necessary momentum to cross the finish line,” declared the president. to AFP Ellie Geranmayeh, analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). On the way to the Austrian capital, Iran's chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri, He urged the United States to “seize this opportunity … to act responsibly.”

Cautious Expectations

In a Twitter post, Robert Malley, Washington's envoy, announced his trip to Vienna: “Our expectations are measured, but the United States (…) is prepared in good faith to try to find an agreement. We will know soon if Iran is ready for it.”

After the failure of the talks in Qatar at the end of June between the Americans and the Iranians, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, on July 26 a draft compromise and asked for to the parties that accept it in order to avoid a “dangerous crisis”. Iran has also put forward “ideas” and hopes to discuss them “in this round of talks,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani.

A European diplomat based in Vienna expressed He expressed his optimism in the face of the negotiations, considering that it is “a meeting that shows everyone's will to move forward”. Although it was shown Cautious: “It's positive, but at the same time there is absolutely no guarantee.”

Three obstacles

Among the obstacles that remain to be overcome is the lifting of sanctions against theRevolutionary Guard, the elite body of the Iranian Army. which is responsible for overseeing the political and religious system of the Islamic Republic. On Tuesday, John Kirby, the White House spokesman for strategic affairs, reiterated the US president's refusal to remove them from the list of terrorist organizations “in the context of these talks”.

Tehran also demands guarantees in case Joe Biden's successor goes back on his word, as well. such as the closure of an investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog. The pact, known by its acronym JCPOA, aims to guarantee the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear program, which is accused of wanting to acquire nuclear weapons despite its denials.

Following the unilateral withdrawal of the United States in 2018 under the impetus of Donald Trump and the reestablishment of US sanctions, Tehran has progressively freed itself from its obligations. In doing so, it has exceeded the 3.67% uranium enrichment rate set by the JCPOA, moving to 20% in early 2021. It has reached the unprecedented threshold of 60%, approaching the 90% with which it could make a bomb. n has multiplied the number of centrifuges. This week alone new machines have started to be powered up at the Natanz site and several hundred more have been installed, according to a report presented by the IAEA to member states on Wednesday. “The program is going very, very fast (…), growing in ambition and capacity,” said Rafael Grossi, director general of the agency, a day earlier.

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