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Iranian nuclear: the latest American measures insufficient, judge Tehran

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The US State Department said on Friday it was reinstating key waivers protecting foreign countries and companies involved in non-military nuclear projects from the threat of US sanctions.

The initiative taken by the administration of Joe Biden appears to be a notable gesture towards Tehran at a time when, in Vienna, the negotiations to save the 2015 Iranian nuclear agreement are entering the final stretch.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal and reinstated the bulk of US economic sanctions against Tehran.

And in May 2020, when Mr. Trump failed to bend the Islamic Republic to obtain a best dealhis administration ended up also removing other derogations concerning in particular the Tehran reactor intended for research, and that of Arak, modified under the control of the international community in such a way as to make it impossible to produce plutonium for military use.

Lifting of certain sanctions

The lifting of certain sanctions may result […] by goodwill [des États-Unis]. Americans talk about it, but you have to know that what is on paper is good, but not enough. »

A quote from Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs

We have told the American side, through some people […]to demonstrate good will in practiceadded the head of Iranian diplomacy, explaining that his country was waiting for something tangible to happen.

Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council in Iran, for his part gave little credit to the American announcement.

We do not consider this “show” to lift sanctions as a constructive gesture. »

A quote from Admiral Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council in Iran

Real, effective and verifiable economic benefits for Iran are a necessary condition for the conclusion of an agreementhe added, as US sanctions plunged Iran into an economic and social crisis.

In response to US sanctions, the Iranian authorities gradually freed themselves from the restrictions imposed by the agreement on their nuclear activities.

President Biden wants to revert to the 2015 deal to ensure that Iranian activities remain strictly civil and peaceful, provided Iran also returns to its commitments.

A step in the right direction

Russian negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov hailed the US decision on Twitter on Saturday as a step in the right direction.

According to him, it will allow to speed up the reinstatement of the 2015 agreement reached in Vienna between Tehran and the permanent members of the Security Council of theUnited Nations (China, USA, France, Britain, Russia) plus Germany, and could indicate that the talks have entered their final phase.

Germany, France and the United Kingdom (E3) also welcomed the American decision in a press release.

This should facilitate the technical discussions needed to support the discussions in Vienna, they say, urging Iran to quickly seize this opportunity.

The negotiations underway since last spring, coordinated by the European Union, are taking place between the Iranians and the major powers (Germany, China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia), with the indirect participation of the Americans.

After months of deadlock, progress has been made in recent weeks.

Tehran is carefully considering any step in the right direction to fulfill the obligations mentioned in the nuclear agreementsaid for his part the spokesman for Iranian diplomacy, Said Khatibzadeh, quoted by local media.

In the Austrian capital, talks were suspended last week and are due to resume in the coming days. It’s time for political decisions to reach an agreement, warned several negotiators, stressing that there were only a handful of weeks left to avoid a failure of diplomacy and an escalation of tensions.

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