Iranian expert analyzes challenges and prospects of possible Iran-US nuclear talks

Nuclear Program Materials 28 September 2023 13:13 (UTC +04:00)
Iranian expert analyzes challenges and prospects of possible Iran-US nuclear talks
Elnur Baghishov
Elnur Baghishov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 28. It is hard to predict how the talks between Iran and the US about the Islamic Republic's nuclear program will proceed, whether they will be direct or indirect, through other parties, said Rahman Ghahramanpour, an Iranian expert on international affairs, Trend reports.

According to Ghahramanpour, inaccurate reports suggest that direct talks between Iran and the US are likely to take place. However, Iran denies this information. It seems that Iran does not want to give any concessions to the US side.

With all this going on, Japan has recently made a move to back up the possible return to the JCPOA, according to Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian. On September 26, Abdollahian said that Iran supports Japan's constructive role in restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Ghahramanpour reminded that Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Matthew Miller said, "We are not aware of Japan's plan," indicating that the U.S. does not want to make concessions too.

"In fact, the two sides do not want to show that they are interested in discussion and understanding. In addition to the JCPOA, the US wants to include regional issues and Iran's missile program in the discussions. However, Iran does not agree with the comprehensive understanding plan proposed by the US. Iran wants the US to return to the JCPOA. But the US does not want to return to the plan. Because it thinks that the nuclear disarmament value of the JCPOA is decreasing," the expert said.

Ghahramanpour also pointed out that it is believed that Japan wants to mediate the restoration of the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan in the 5+1 (the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany) format. However, this format currently seems impossible for a number of global issues (Ukraine conflict, etc.).

The expert noted that the predicted format is for Iran and the US to negotiate with the participation of a mediator. So, if there is progress in the discussions, the two sides can find a suitable road map.

On January 16, 2016, Iran's nuclear program triggered the creation of the JCPOA between Iran and the P5+1 group (US, Russia, China, UK, France, and Germany). However, on May 8, 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the 5+1 group (Russia, China, the UK, France, the US, and Germany) and imposed new sanctions against Iran as of November 2018.

The sanctions affected Iranian oil exports and more than 700 banks, companies, and individuals. The sanctions have resulted in the freezing of Iranian assets abroad.

In 2020, Iranian government announced that it would not fulfill any of its obligations under the plan, based on the sanctions imposed by the US and the failure of the European members of the JCPOA (the UK, France and Germany) to fully implement the provisions of the plan.

In late 2020, the Iranian parliament decided to implement a strategic plan to tackle the sanctions, citing the non-implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and six countries and the imposition of sanctions on Iran. According to the decision of the Iranian parliament, as of February 23, Iran suspended the implementation of additional steps and an additional protocol provided for in the nuclear deal. As a result, the control mechanism of the IAEA decreased by 20–30 percent.

Iran is currently looking for various ways to resume discussions with the other parties regarding its nuclear program and eventually restore the JCPOA.

The country is mainly trying to achieve the abolition of sanctions imposed by the US and Western countries, the removal of its funds frozen abroad, and the abolition of the restriction on the export of crude oil. In return, the US and Western countries want Iran not to acquire an atomic bomb, to keep its nuclear program under control, and to reduce the level of uranium enrichment.


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