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Iran nuclear deal in ‘next step’ stalemate

  ”If it is a good and fair deal, we will seriously consider reaching an agreement.” On the evening of September 18, local time, the CBS trump program “60 Minutes” broadcast an exclusive interview with Iranian President Leahy , This is also the first time Leahy has given an exclusive interview to the American media since taking office in August 2021. In the meantime, although Leahy expressed a positive attitude towards continuing the negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal, he also pointed out that the US must ensure that it will not withdraw from the agreement. He also said he had “no interest” in meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden while traveling to New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
  Leahy’s remarks are consistent with recent remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Blinken and EU diplomat Borrell, showing that negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal have reached a “next step” stalemate. In 2015, the United States, Iran, China, Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union signed the Iran nuclear agreement in Vienna. Iran promised not to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of United Nations and Western sanctions. In 2018, then-US President Trump announced that the US would unilaterally withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and increase unilateral sanctions against Iran. In 2021, with the inauguration of Biden as US president, the parties to the Iran nuclear deal began to restart contacts in April. However, because the United States and Iran could not reach an agreement on whether to “denuclearize first” or “lift sanctions first”, the negotiations fell into a “first step” deadlock.
  From June to July this year, it was reported that the negotiating parties reached a certain level of understanding on the “first step” deadlock, and the US was willing to make partial concessions on sanctions and security issues. Since then, the dialogue and contacts have not been interrupted, and the two sides have also held a positive attitude towards the negotiation, but there is no positive news about the specific content that can be negotiated.
  On the surface, the negotiations have once again reached an impasse, and the relationship with the International Atomic Energy Agency and Israel is relatively large. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s endorsement of Iran’s “denuclearization” is one of the key reasons why the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was reached. But the agency said in its latest report, released on September 7, that “there is no guarantee that Iran’s nuclear program is entirely for peaceful purposes”. On September 14, two-thirds of the IAEA Board of Governors supported a statement issued by the United States, Britain, France, Germany and other countries, asking the Iranian government to explain why traces of uranium were present at undeclared sites. The Iranian side called it “political frame-up”.
  On the other hand, Israel, which is not a direct participant in the JCPOA, has always been an important influencing factor for the US on the road to the JCPOA. Since the resumption of contact with the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Lapid has expressed his opposition on many occasions. The Israeli government even said that even if the United States returns to the agreement, the Israeli intelligence agency “Mossad” will not stop targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities and nuclear program participants. s attack. In July this year, US President Biden visited Israel. Since September, high-level military and intelligence officials have visited the United States. Considering that Biden has always been supported by pro-Israel political groups in his political career, the outside world believes that Israel’s actions may have affected the United States’ determination to promote negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal.
  However, the key to the “resurrection” of the Iran nuclear deal lies with the United States and Iran. Since the US has expressed its willingness to make some substantive concessions on the “first step”, why does the “next step” stop at the IAEA investigation and Israel’s opposition to these external factors?
  As the U.S. midterm elections in November approach, the “resurrection” of the Iran nuclear deal has become one of the issues for Republicans to attack the Biden administration. In the campaign discourse, whether the nuclear deal imposed severe restrictions on Iran’s nuclear stockpile and uranium enrichment became irrelevant. Biden’s critics emphasized that the “resurrection” of the Iran nuclear deal means that the “effective sanctions” imposed by former President Trump will be lifted, and that the Biden administration will “pave the way for Iran to build a nuclear bomb.” Against this backdrop, there are voices within the Democratic Party against returning to the Iran nuclear deal.
  In this regard, Iranian President Rahey has expressed many times since September that he doubts the sincerity of the U.S. negotiation and that the U.S. must provide more effective written assurances. Leahy made it clear that the U.S. side should make further written assurances about the sustainability of the agreement and “no unilateral withdrawal”. But that’s something Biden can’t provide. Since mid-September, as the U.S. escalated sanctions against Iran on the grounds of Iran’s “cyber attack” on Albania, the Iranian foreign ministry and military responded with a tough stance, and the atmosphere of active dialogue since July has been seriously damaged.
  The “next step” stalemate faced by the Iran nuclear deal also reflects the overall changes in the international situation. When the agreement was signed in 2015, many negotiators shed tears on the spot. People regarded the agreement as a symbol of victory in the peaceful settlement of disputes, and a spirit of cooperation that transcended bloc politics was also nurtured in the negotiations. However, with the drastic changes in the international situation, when the negotiations on the Iran nuclear deal were resumed, the mutual trust between the participants had long since been fragmented, and multilateral cooperation had been coerced by more group politics and external factors, and the peaceful settlement of disputes was no longer regarded as the “only means”. “. The specific differences at each step of the JCPOA may be resolved through dialogue and compromise, but if there is no positive change in the external situation, the deadlock is likely to continue.