July 25, 2021

France and the United States push Tehran to compromise

The Iranian presidential elections have passed, run by the regime in his hand. They do not change its nature, priorities and methods, despite the appointment of the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raïssi. Negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program can therefore resume in Vienna, in the coming days, for a seventh meeting between signatories of the JCPoA, the 2015 agreement. The scientific, political and economic dimensions continue to be intertwined in this closed session. Austrian, which has lasted since the beginning of April, posing a major challenge to the diplomats involved. But time is running out according to Europeans and Americans, who are hoping for an early conclusion.

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Visiting Paris on Friday June 25, as part of his European tour, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on this subject during a press conference organized at the Quai d’Orsay, with his counterpart Jean -Yves Le Drian. Recognizing “Serious differences” with Iran, Blinken warned against an indefinite extension of talks. “If Iran continues to operate more and more sophisticated centrifuges, and at higher degrees, (uranium enrichment), if he continues with other aspects of his programs prohibited by the JCPoA, there will come a time when it will be very difficult to return to JCPoA standards ”, he recalled, referring to the timeframe to accumulate enough fissile material for a bomb. “It is in our national interest to try to put nuclear power back in the box it was in, within the framework of the JCPoA”, he clarified.

“We arrive at the end of the process, we arrive in the hard phase”

The expiration on Friday of a temporary arrangement between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Tehran over inspections of its nuclear sites only heightens tension and suspicion over Iranian intentions. “There have been advances made, underlined Mr. Le Drian, on the subject of the Vienna negotiations. We will now move on to the most difficult stages. This will require courageous and strong decisions on the part of the new Iranian authorities. It’s time. We come to the end of the process, we arrive in the hard phase. ”

How to obtain both an American return to the JCPoA and a return to conformity of the Iranian program, in relation to its commitments of 2015? From the start of the negotiations in Austria, in order to show their determination and overcome Iranian mistrust, the United States clearly stated their intentions, through the Europeans. The Biden administration is ready to lift all sanctions abolished by the JCPoA, before being reimposed by Donald Trump. It could also reclassify others, introduced after 2017 by the former US president in the name of human rights or anti-terrorism, in order to facilitate their removal, such as those targeting the Central Bank.

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