Talks on Iran Nuclear Deal Resumes

Synopsis – The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) [Iran nuclear deal] resumed talks. The lifting of sanctions on Iran and nuclear implementation measures are on top of the agenda.

Background-
  • In 2018, former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Further, it imposed sanctions on Iran and jeopardized the 2015 agreement to limit Iran’s uranium enrichment.
  • In response, Iran increased uranium enrichment and stockpile and expanded its research and development.

Therefore, for the revival of the 2015 agreement, diplomats from Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany, and Iran have been meeting in Vienna.

  • The aim is to reach an agreement on a road map for lifting US sanctions and recommitting Tehran to its agreements under the accord.
Changing approach of US toward IRAN-
  • The US President appointed a special envoy to Iran.
  • It ended US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen against the Houthis [Iran-backed militants].
  • Biden Administration also offered Iran to release $1 billion of Iranian money frozen in South Korea according to sanctions. In exchange, Iran was asked for ending its 20% uranium enrichment.

However, Iran has rejected the offer, seeking more concrete measures from the U.S.

Is there a deadline for this deal to be done?

Presidential election in IRAN – Iran will go to the polls in June to elect a new president. The current president Hassan Rouhani, seen as a moderate in Tehran, will not be able to stand again for the presidential race.

Challenges –

Rising security tension in the region could jeopardize the diplomatic efforts to revive the JCPOA.

  • Shia militias supported by Iran continue to attack US forces and bases in Iraq.
  • The Israel-Iran shadow conflict is now being fought inside Syria and on the seas. In the Red Sea, an Iranian ship was attacked.
Way forward-
  • The best chance for the US is to revive the JCPOA, and that too, before the presidential election.
  • Both Iran and the United States must work to re-establish lost faith and take measures to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal. It would end the nuclear crisis in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

Source – The Hindu


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