Sunday, August 14, 2022

US says Iran nuclear deal not dead yet

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has said the Iran nuclear deal—formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—is not dead yet.

“I think there is a very viable agreement and Iran just has to say, ‘yes’,” stated Sherman, explaining that internal politics are likely at play over who is truly the nation’s current supreme leader.

“As best as we can tell, they can’t come to a decision,” she added.

Sherman made her remarks at a live sit-down interview July 12 with Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, at the International Student House.

According to Sherman, it’s in Iran’s best interest to make a deal.

“They would get sanctions relief. They would improve their economy and sell their oil again and the world needs their oil, so they could get a good price for it. It’s all in their interest to do this, but they’re having a very hard time getting consensus,” she said.

“The European Union, the French, the Germans, the British who have negotiated this deal, along with Russia and China, all want this deal,” she added.

In 2018, the US, under President Donald Trump, pulled out of the nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions under the so-called ‘maximum pressure campaign’ against Tehran, effectively depriving Iran of the deal’s benefits by forcing third parties to stop doing business with Iran.

Iran remained patient for an entire year, after which it began to take incremental steps away from its nuclear obligations, especially after Europeans failed to salvage the deal under the US pressure.

Iranian officials have stressed the ball is in the US’s court and that Washington must make the necessary political decisions.

Iran insists that the nuclear talks must lead to the removal of all American sanctions that were imposed against Tehran following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the landmark agreement in May 2018. Tehran has also demanded credible guarantees that Washington will not abandon the deal again.

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