Iran is preparing to re-sign a nuclear deal under which it undertakes to develop its nuclear potential exclusively for peaceful purposes, in response to which sanctions will be lifted from the Islamic Republic. Reports that a deal could be signed in the near future have been constantly appearing in the media lately, but experts approach this information with cautious optimism.
The Iranian nuclear deal is nearing signing, writes The New Arab, citing a senior EU official. Accordi-ng to him, there is already a text on the table that is very close to what will become the final document.
Representatives of Russia, China, Great Britain, France, Germany, the European Union and the United States have been holding talks with Iran aimed at refusing to develop further nuclear weapons for more than three years.
Now the likelihood that this deal will be signed is quite high, especially given that this is one of the priorities of the administration of US President Joe Biden,
Nikolai Surkov, senior researcher at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at IMEMO RAS, drew attention to this. He noted that the United States today is facing challenges in other areas, it would be convenient for the White House to close at least the issue with the Iranian nuclear program.
“Another thing is that, apparently, this does not suit the regional allies very much. It can be expected that tensions at the regional level will continue, they will simply work on their own, there will most likely be some kind of unofficial alliance between Israel and the Gulf monarchies. That is, the task of containing Iran remains relevant. From the outside, it looks like the Americans conditionally wash their hands of it and transfer responsibility for this to their regional allies. This, of course, is not an escape from Afghanistan, but, in general, this is the transfer of responsibility for containing Iran to the level of the region, ”the expert explained to Gazeta.Ru.
The signing of a new deal, of course, would be a very big move forward in all respects, says Vladimir Sazhin, senior researcher at the Center for the Study of the Countries of the Near and Middle East of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, candidate of historical sciences Vladimir Sazhin. However, some contradictions on this deal still exist, which may prevent its conclusion, the expert drew attention.
Iran has even threatened the US with consequences if the Vienna talks don’t end up with a good deal.
As Secretary of the Sup-reme National Security Co-uncil of Iran Ali Shamkhani said, in this situation, the current US administration will soon realize its defeat and missed opportunities for the use of diplomatic methods.
Iran and the six mediators (US, France, UK, Chi-na, Russia and Germany) s-igned the Joint Compre-hensive Action Plan (JC-POA) on July 14, 2015. A-ccording to it, Tehran took upon itself the obligation to carry out an exclusively p-eaceful nuclear program, to have at its disposal no more than 300 kg of low-enr-iched uranium (up to 3.67%) for 15 years, not to produce highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium, and to reduce the number of nuclear centrifuges from 19 thousand to 19 thousand. up to 6.1 thousand, convert the enrichment plant in Fordow into a technology center, allow IAEA inspectors to their nuclear facilities and use the reactor in Arak only for peaceful purposes. In exchange, the Six agreed to lift all sanctions related to the Iranian nuclear program – both the UN Security Council and national ones – including restrictions on access to trade, technology, finance and energy. Sanctions could be returned within 65 days in case of violation of the terms of the deal by Iran.
“The JCPOA was one of the most important documents that contributed to the preservation of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. The JCPOA put Iran’s nuclear ambitions within the IAEA’s requirements. The JCPOA gave confidence that in the next 25 years from 2015, Iran would not become the owner of nuclear weapons. It was a victory for world diplomacy. Negotiations on this topic have been going on since 2003 – 12 years, ”said Vladimir Sazhin, Candidate of Historical Sciences. But former US President Donald Trump did not like the conclusion of the JCPOA, which was considered one of the main foreign policy achievements of Barack Obama’s presidency: he called it a “terrible deal.”
As a result, on May 8, 2018, Trump officially announced his withdrawal from it, saying that the deal was “based on lies.” He was guided by the data of Israel, which on April 30 of the same year published evidence of the existence of Ir-an’s secret program to dev-elop nuclear weapons. The then Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu claimed that he became known as a result of an Israeli intelligence operation. It stole “half a ton of materials” from Iran, including 55,000 documents and 183 information CDs, he said.
Return to uranium enrichment
The process of uranium enrichment above the level of restrictions stipulated by the JCPOA, Iran did not launch immediately, but only a year later, in July 2019, thereby causing concern of a number of foreign states.
At present, Iran is capable of enriching uranium up to 90% in a few months, but it will take several years to approach the creation of nuclear weapons,
Vladimir Sazhin, senior researcher at the Center for the Study of the Countries of the Near and Middle East of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Candidate of Historical Sciences, explained to Gazeta.Ru.
“But in fact, enrichment up to 90% is the last step before a nuclear bomb. Of course, no one wants this – neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China, and even more so Israel. The conclusion of a new nuclear deal is a very big step forward in ensuring the nuclear non-proliferation regime,” he said.
At the same time, as the expert noted, if now the JCPOA is concluded without a temporary correction, without correction to what level Iran has achieved in the development of its nuclear technologies over the past 2.5 years, then its significance will be somewhat reduced.