The United States and Iran, The First Steps to Return to the Nuclear Deal –

The United States and Iran are back in Vienna, where the nuclear deal was signed in 2015: it is the first tangible progress in trying to salvage the pact that Donald Trump abandoned three years ago. Although a direct meeting between the Americans and the Iranians was not planned by a decision of the latter, indirect talks with the mediators of the three European signatories to the agreement (France, Germany and the United Kingdom) is an important step.

The talks officially began yesterday with a meeting of the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” (the Iranian nuclear deal, also known by the acronym Jcpoa) ​​at 2:30 pm On the local level: The European Union Coordinator Enrique Mora will attend the representatives of Iran. China, Russia and the three European signatories. Mediators will move to one Shuttle diplomacy Between the two hotels hosting the Iranian and American delegations. The meeting took place at the Grand Hotel Wien (the venue of the negotiations was the Coburg Palace in 2015). The next meeting will be on Friday, April 9th.

The Iranians and the Americans say “constructive talks.” “Success,” the Russian ambassador to Vienna, Mikhail Okyanov, said on Twitter, explaining that “two expert-level groups (on lifting sanctions and nuclear issues) have been tasked with determining the concrete measures that Washington and Tehran will have to take to fully restore the situation. “. The Europeans want a result in a few weeks, and certainly before the June presidential elections in Iran, But Americans say it could take longer. The obstacles are not few.

Both Abbas Araghchi, the deputy foreign minister in charge of the Iranian delegation, and the US special envoy Robert Malley, familiar personalities who took part in the 2015 negotiations, But returning to the agreement will be a test of political will, not a technical issue.

After months of diplomatic deadlock over who should take the first step between Tehran and Washington, and the US offers, in gradual steps (Such as releasing frozen funds in foreign banks in exchange for ending uranium enrichment to 20%) And the Iranians rejected them as bearish offers, the presence of the two sides in Vienna shows the will to overcome the impasse.

The question is what will be the “choreography” of the road map To return to Jeshboa? Experts will have to prepare two lists of what Washington needs to remove Trump-era sanctions and why Tehran Return to respect for obligations related to uranium enrichment (also bearing in mind that some skills developed in recent years are impossible to cancel).

Mali said on TV Pbs America knows that it must lift “all sanctions that are inconsistent with the agreement.” Words that Tehran immediately welcomed: “promising.” But there’s a complication: There are several categories of sanctions and Trump has used them to erect a wall around Iran (and the JCPOA). Although the United States is removing those related to nuclear power, there are other countries that were approved after 2018 out of terrorism.The missile program and human rights affect the same sectors of the Iranian economy, such as the Central Bank and the Revolutionary Guard. Mali and his deputy, sanctions expert Richard Nevo, are in Vienna, but their eyes are on Washington because the decision is political.

For Brussels, “joint efforts” will be needed to understand “which sanctions can be lifted”. It will be one of the keys to this stage. It is no coincidence that the Iranian delegation includes representatives of the Central Bank and the Ministry of Petroleum, the sector most affected by the restrictions imposed by Trump. The talks focus on returning to the original understanding, not on Tehran’s missile program or its role in the region. The White House would like Iran to agree to discuss a “strengthened” agreement at a later time, but Tehran is refusing for the time being.

April 6, 2021 (Change to April 6, 2021 | 22:13)

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Earl Warner

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