Even if Biden wins US elections, time is running out for Iran to save nuclear deal


Even if Joe Biden wins in elections, Iran’s weak government has little to negotiate a revived nuclear deal before facing its electoral challenge by hardliners who oppose any engagement with the West. Can be months.

The narrow window has prompted Biden to offer a phased approach to re-issue the Iran nuclear deal by Donald Trump in 2018 to show progress ahead of Iran’s presidential election.

Iran’s reformists and centralists are severely damaged by the failure of the original agreement to provide economic benefits to ordinary Iranians.

Once Trump left the deal, he put maximum economic pressure on Tehran, blocked Iran’s oil exports, and left engagement advocates with the US to defend his strategy. In a recent interview in Tax efficient Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif insisted that the Foreign Ministry was not naive to negotiate with the Americans, but said that Trump “blew up the entire negotiating room”.

The current president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, was also an advocate of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, but stands after two four-year terms. A variety of conservatives are preparing to stand, including members of the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, who are advocating closer ties with China or stronger self-sufficient economic policy.

The reformist movement has not yet decided whether to field a candidate or instead bring back a technical figure like former Lok Sabha Speaker Ali Larijani, who currently helps Rouhani in building a 25-year strategic partnership with China. Has been doing.

The reformists were marked by a low record-out in the spring parliamentary elections. The possibility of persuading the middle class to disappoint voters in presidential elections depends on finding a credible candidate, which could raise hopes of resumption of dialogue with the West.

Biden has so far promised that “if Iran strictly complies with the nuclear deal, the US will rejoin as a starting point for negotiating the agreement”.

But even if he wins, Biden will not take office until January 20, leaving the reformers only a short time to convince the Iranians that the engagement path is worth trying again.

Some analysts say a Biden victory may be enough to change the mood in Iran – and certainly elections are being watched with fascination in Tehran.

An article in the Szandegi newspaper stated that “the most important thing in the domestic situation after the inauguration of a non-Trump president is the rise of hope for a change in the psychological environment of Iranian society and the possibility of a successful dialogue.” And negotiate with America

On the other hand, one of Iran’s most respected analysts, Sadegh Jibakalam, suggested in the Etmad newspaper that the reformists had only lost their electoral base. He predicted a maximum of 30% turnout in the presidential election, saying “people have turned their backs on the ballot box”. Jibakalam said disillusionment with Iran’s political process was strongest among students, educated and urban dwellers – the very social level that led Rouhani to a stunning victory in 2013.

Many reformists argue that election pretense makes no sense because true power lies elsewhere, and it would be better if conservatives are seen as in charge of the executive, clergy, judiciary and parliament – so they can take full responsibility For the consequences of their policy of “resistance”.

Despite a serious political mood in Iran, some Western analysts say Biden should try to save the nuclear deal even if elected.

The European Council on Foreign Relations’ Iran expert Eli Geranmayah says it would be a “tough diplomatic slogan” to secure a deal. She points out that the architecture of the JCPOA still remains, including the continued inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites by the United Nations Watchdog at present.

Geranmayah argues that with the help of three European signatories to the deal, the US – France, Germany and Britain – should seek an indexed deal that would have an early quick victory, possibly due to more difficult issues for the Iranian presidential elections. Construction.

Its three-stage roadmap begins in mid-February with an interim nuclear deal that will set the parameters for an agreement in which Iran agrees to free any nuclear activities that would exceed the deal’s limits, sanctions Setting the stage for the Biden administration to raise. Iranian authorities, humanitarian goods and some oil exports – as well as the resumption of the JCPOA, a process for which no formal arrangement exists in the agreement.

By June both sides will be expected to be back in full compliance with the original deal, so most US sanctions will be lifted.

This would require Iran to reduce its reserves of low-enriched uranium, eliminate advanced centrifuges at Natanz, and prevent other research and development initiatives going beyond the JCPOA.

Comprehensive negotiations on a comprehensive nuclear deal will begin in late 2021. A follow-up agreement backed by European three will address the JCPOA, Iran’s ballistic missile program and nuclear sunset over Iran’s policies in the Middle East.

But the odds of such a deal are high. Iran’s former ambassador to Britain, Mohammed Hossain Adeley, warned that “Biden should practically regain Iran’s confidence in the negotiation process.” Iran’s trust cannot be won by words, but in practice and must be won with guarantee. ”

Hassan Ahmadian, a Middle East professor at the University of Tehran, argues that before returning to full compliance, Iran will seek compensation for the economic losses caused by Washington’s sanctions, as well as address outstanding deficiencies in the JCPRA.

Iran feels the 2015 agreement obliged it to stop its civilian nuclear program before the West needed to take any steps, failing to punish the US for violating its terms. “It is no longer possible to return to full compliance based on the US agreement,” he said. Lack of trust has skyrocketed to the extent that a face change in the Oval Office will not change this fact, ”he argues.

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