Iran Deal Negotiations Tense but Continuing

April 14, 2021 by Daniel Mollenkamp
Exterior view of the 'Grand Hotel Wien' in Vienna, Austria, Friday, April 9, 2021 where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place. Diplomats meeting in Vienna assess progress of three days of talks aimed at bringing the United States back into the nuclear deal with Iran. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter)

Preliminary talks in Vienna about the possible return of the U.S. to the Iran Deal, also known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, are set to resume this week.

The U.S. withdrew from the deal, one of the signature foreign policy accomplishments of the Obama administration, during Donald Trump’s term in office. 

Last week, negotiations began in Vienna to feel out what it would take to bring the U.S. and Iran back into compliance. According to U.S. officials, Iran did not want to meet directly with them, rather they prefer to go through the European Union and other intermediaries.

A statement from an unnamed senior official released by the U.S. Department of State at the end of last week characterized the portion of the talks held last week as “productive” and “very constructive.” That same official said Iran showed some signs of “seriousness of purpose” in their intent to bring the U.S. back to the deal, but not yet enough. 

There was also some concern that Iran would demand the U.S. lift all sanctions on Iran going back to 2017.

The U.S. has indicated it is prepared to lift all sanctions that are inconsistent with JPCOA. But that would not mean lifting all sanctions, officials say, since the deal allows for some. The U.S. position is that not all of the sanctions put in Iran since 2017 are inconsistent with JPCOA.

The Trump administration muddied the issue by intentionally redesignating sanctions as terrorism-related which were intially imposed for nuclear reasons in a bid to make it harder for future administrations to rejoin the deal, the senior official said.

Going back to the negotiating table, tensions will be high.

An attack on Iran’s primary nuclear site, Natanz, at the beginning of this week, which Iran blamed on Israel, led Iranian officials to say they would begin enriching uranium at a higher purity level, advancing them towards the purity levels needed for a nuclear bomb,  Al Jazeera reported.

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at a press conference this week that “neither sanctions nor acts of sabotage will give [the U.S.] negotiation tools and these acts will only make the situation more difficult for them.”

Standing next to the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, in Tehran, Zarif indicated that the U.S. would need to lift all “unilateral sanctions.”

In The News

Health

Voting

Geopolitics

US Cybersecurity Defense Must Meet Adversaries’ ‘Pace and Scale’
Geopolitics
US Cybersecurity Defense Must Meet Adversaries’ ‘Pace and Scale’
May 12, 2021
by Victoria Turner

“Make no mistake, our adversaries want to divide us to conquer us,” warned Erin Joe, section chief of the private sector office of the FBI, noting that nation-states like Russia, North Korea, Iran, and China are deploying daily cyberattacks against the US.  Opening yesterday’s CyberSatDigital conference,... Read More

Russian Economy Damaged By Western Sanctions, Think Tank Finds
Think Tanks
Russian Economy Damaged By Western Sanctions, Think Tank Finds
May 6, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

WASHINGTON- Although western sanctions have not forced the Russian government to completely end its aggressions in Ukraine, the true impact of the sanctions has not been fully acknowledged, according to a new report from the Atlantic Council, an international affairs think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C.... Read More

Withdrawal From Afghanistan Will Diminish U.S. Intelligence Network, CIA Chief Says
Geopolitics
Withdrawal From Afghanistan Will Diminish U.S. Intelligence Network, CIA Chief Says
April 29, 2021
by Reece Nations

WASHINGTON — Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee were warned by CIA Director William Burns that American intelligence operations in Afghanistan will be kneecapped by the United States’ imminent withdrawal from the region.  Burns, confirmed as the head of the CIA by the Senate last month,... Read More

Harris to tell UN Body it's Time to Prep for Next Pandemic
Health
Harris to tell UN Body it's Time to Prep for Next Pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris will make the case before United Nations members on Monday that now is the time for global leaders to begin putting the serious work into how they will respond to the next global pandemic. The virtual address, Harris' second... Read More

Carnegie Endowment Urges Biden To Reverse Trump's Israel-Palestine Policies
Geopolitics
Carnegie Endowment Urges Biden To Reverse Trump's Israel-Palestine Policies
April 22, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

WASHINGTON - The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank based in Washington, D.C., says the U.S. should discard the Trump-era Israel-Palestine policies as a first step to break the status quo. The new report argues that the U.S. ought to establish clearer channels of... Read More

Biden Opening Summit with Ambitious New US Climate Pledge
White House
Biden Opening Summit with Ambitious New US Climate Pledge

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will open a global climate summit with a pledge to cut at least in half the climate-wrecking coal and petroleum fumes that the U.S. pumps out, a commitment he hopes will spur China and other big polluters to speed up... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top