On Wednesday, the State Department of the United States said that America is ready to withdraw economic sanctions on Iran that are inconsistent with the 2015 nuclear agreement. Ned Price, the spokesperson of the State Department, tells reporters that they are ready to take the necessary steps to return to compliance with the joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Moreover, the White House denied to comment and deferred to the U.S. State Department when reporters contacted. The remarks of Price came as American and Iranian officials participated in indirect negotiations in Vienna – communicating via European mediators – as part of an effort to resume the 2015 nuclear accord.
Iran and the U.S. settled to create working groups with the aim of bringing both sides back into compliance with the agreement in a synchronized fashion. Experts and analysts viewed the agreement as an indication of progress in terms of restoring the pact, though incremental.
The Middle East Security Director at the Center for New American Security in D.C., Ilan Goldenberg, tweets that this is a most significant positive move, but it is not easy to retrieve both countries into the JCPOA. Further, he adds that it is going to take time and hard talks. However, it will be better for both sides if they can negotiate directly. But still, it is an important achievement. Foreign policy advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders, Matt Duss, responded in a tweet to the development as good news.
2015 Deal signed to Prevent Iran from Developing a Nuclear Weapon
The 2015 nuclear pact designed to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from working on a nuclear weapon in return for relief from economic sanctions. Critics of the agreement said that it didn’t go far enough to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power and also opposed the accord was weak in terms of addressing the missile program and regional behavior of Iran.
The former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the JCPOA in May 2018 and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran and setting off several events that escalated tensions between Tehran and Washington to historic heights and also sparked fears of a new war in the Middle East. Moreover, the Trump administration ineffectively sought to bound Iran into talks a more extreme version of the 2015 agreement through strict economic sanctions as part of a maximum pressure campaign.
The getaway time of Iran to a nuclear weapon was approximately one year before Trump’s exit from the pact, but the American officials now say it is closer to a few months. Whereas Iran remained in compliance with the agreement for almost one year after the United States pulled out his nation, but slowly took steps away from the pact before efficiently abandoning it altogether after then-U.S. President ordered a drone strike that killed General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top official, in January 2020.
Biden Administration Insisted Iran prove it’s Complying with the Pact
Whereas Joe Biden, the American President on the campaign trail, vowed to revive the 2015 nuclear pact. On the other side, Iran maintained that it wouldn’t return to compliance until America withdraw economic sanctions. Likewise, the Biden government insisted Iran prove it’s complying with the deal before America moves forward with sanctions relief. The Vienna negotiations are the initial practical effort in the Biden administration to break the deadlock.