Biden Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal?
From The Wall Street Journal: Iran, the U.S. and other world powers are nearing a deal to revive the 2015 nuclear accord, although negotiators are still wrangling over significant final demands from Tehran, including the scope of sanctions relief.
An agreement could be finalized in Vienna within the next couple of days, said officials involved in the talks. President Biden has made restoring the agreement a top foreign-policy goal. The White House views an agreement restraining Iran’s nuclear program as key to Middle East stability, allowing the U.S. to focus on China and Russia.
An agreement would set out the steps Iran and the U.S. must take to return to compliance with the 2015 deal, which imposed tight but temporary limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for suspending international sanctions. The U.S. pulled out of the deal in May 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran, which brought most international trade with Iran to a standstill…
Any deal would likely need final signoff by the leaders of the countries involved: the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran. Among the most important unresolved issues is how many U.S. sanctions will be lifted, including those on the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“The U.S. must prove its will to lift major sanctions,” Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said Monday.
U.S. and European officials have indicated that they want a deal by the end of February, because of advances in Iran’s nuclear work. Western diplomats have warned they could leave the negotiating table in coming days if an agreement isn’t within reach….
Negotiations began last April, nearly three years after then-PresidentDonald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal in 2018, saying the pact gave Iran too much for too little in return…
Negotiations are coming down to key sanctions listings that Iran wants removed. That includes the Foreign Terrorist Organizations listing for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and how broad the easing of sanctions will be on Mr. Khamenei and his top officials.
U.S. officials have said previously that hundreds of Iranian people and entities would remain under sanctions for terrorism, human-rights and other nonnuclear reasons. Iran has called for all sanctions imposed by the Trump administration to be lifted…
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz urged the U.S. and its partners to ensure the probe continued. He also urged them to make sure that if a deal is restored, atomic-agency inspectors have broad scope to follow up on any suspect activity by Iran.
The Israeli government has sought to avoid a public fight with the Biden administration over its efforts to restore the nuclear deal, but top Israeli officials remain critical of the agreement.
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(Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal. Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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