After a five-month suspension, international talks on Iran’s nuclear program resumed yesterday in Vienna amid tensions, with analysts looking at small opportunities to renew the 2015 nuclear deal. Negotiations stalled in June amid a positive turnout, with diplomats “reaching an agreement, but shifting data on the arrival of Governor Ibrahim Raisi to the Iranian presidency.
While Iran is improving the capabilities of its nuclear program, it has for months ignored calls from Western nations to resume talks.
Even if the talks finally resume, distrust will prevail.
Prior to his visit to Vienna, US Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley said Tehran’s position was “not good for negotiations”.
“If they expedite their nuclear program (…), we will not be idle,” he told National Public Radio earlier this week.
The 2015 nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, removed some of the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear program. But the deal began to crumble in 2018 when former US President Donald Trump stepped aside and began re-imposing sanctions on Iran. The following year, Tehran responded by abandoning some of the restrictions embodied in its agreement on nuclear action.
In recent months, it has begun enriching uranium to unprecedented levels and restricting the activities of monitors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN body tasked with monitoring Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Last week, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Croce, visited Tehran, but when he returned he said there had been “no progress” on the issues he had raised.
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