The US may have overestimated Iran’s appetite for reviving the nuclear deal

Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:

Until today, the “clinical death” of the nuclear deal between Iran and the US has not been announced due to the West’s need to ensure that Iran will maintain strict oversight of its nuclear program, not build a nuclear bomb, and benefit from the Iranian oil and gas supply. Iran has the fourth-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves in the world after Russia. The western sanctions on Russia have had a severe boomerang effect on the population of the West. An alternative must be found before further sanctions are introduced on the Russian energy sector in the following months. Therefore, the West’s announcement that the negotiations are stalled and at an impasse is nothing but a hopeless bargaining tactic to put more pressure on Iran. Indeed, in the West’s mistaken belief, Iran urgently needs its economy to be reintegrated into Western society. The US has indeed misread and overestimated Iran’s appetite to return to the deal and lift sanctions against it at any cost.

From the first day the government of President Ibrahim Raisi took office, Washington has not understood the firmness of the Iranian roadmap. Raisi shared his intention to turn toward the East and that the indirect nuclear talks had a purpose that should be compatible with the interests of the “Islamic Republic” and unfreezing its funds. Nevertheless, the US failed to understand that Iran could survive without the nuclear deal and with the US sanctions that have persisted for the last 43 years. Thus, the US will remain undisputedly Iran’s greatest and ignorant enemy regardless of how many agreements are signed.

Since the first months of his coming to power, the Iranian President has placed nuclear negotiations among his medium-level priorities. The newly elected US president Joe Biden waited five months for President Raeisi to take his (ample) time to announce the return to indirect negotiations and appoint his chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani. The Iranian chief negotiator turned the page on former Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who mistakenly believed Iran’s future was in the West’s arms. It took Donald Trump one year to slap President Sheikh Hassan Rouhani’s moderate government by tearing up the JCPOA in 2018, leaving Foreign Minister Zarif disappointed and isolated.

From the first day of the nuclear negotiations under Sayyed Raisi, Ali Bagheri Kani refused the presence of the American flag in the negotiation room and conducted talks with the European mediator. Iran accepted the role of the European negotiators despite the failure of the EU leaders to fulfil their commitment to the JCPOA in the last years. Indeed, when Trump illegally rejected the JCPOA, European nations did not implement or abide by the terms of the deal they had signed. European companies did not dare to stay in Iran, fearing US sanctions that Trump threatened to impose on all without exception for his “maximum pressure” to function, he believed, and bring Iran to the negotiation table on Washington’s terms. Europe chose its policy adjacent to the American policy to avoid irritating Washington and to stay within its sphere of influence.

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