Nuclear Issue

  • 2021-11-24

    The Gulf Arab states are now desperate to get the Iran deal back, fearing that Iran’s overtures are left unchecked and will only get worse. […] The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) on November 18th joined Jordan, Egypt, France, Germany and the UK in calling for a return to the nuclear deal following a meeting with U.S. Iran envoy Robert Malley in Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the 12 countries issued a joint statement noting that “a return to mutual compliance with the [nuclear deal] would benefit the entire Middle East, allow for more regional partnerships and economic exchange, with long-lasting implications for growth and the well-being of all people there, including in Iran”.

  • 2021-11-24

    Iranian experts in Tehran see the Joe Biden administration’s approach toward Iran and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the context of his government’s overall foreign policy and its desire to extricate itself from military conflicts in the Persian Gulf. […] Of course, US allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, have realized that Biden is unable to add regional dialogue to the nuclear talks, and the fragility of the discussions means that there is no bandwidth to discuss Iran’s role in the region. That’s why the US’s Arab allies have begun dialogue with Iran before seeing progress on restoring the JCPOA. Reducing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia increases the likelihood of the JCPOA’s success (if it can be revived) because the opposition and pressure of US allies in the region was one reason for the failure of the original deal.

  • 2021-11-24

    When formulating its policy on the renewal of the nuclear talks, Israel must take into account both the American interest in reaching an agreement and the fact that the Gulf States are conforming to Washington’s position, while they themselves are pursuing dialogue with Iran. Israel’s adherence to a position that rules out diplomatic solutions stands to undermine its relevance to the international processes and will make it more difficult for Israel to prevent the adoption of measures contrary to its interests. By avoiding public disagreements with the US administration, Israel is able to conduct a strategic discourse, of laying out its arguments and trying to influence the American policy. At the same time, however, Israel’s brandishing of the military option in the current circumstances emphasizes how marginal Israel is to the central process – the renewal of the Vienna talks – while it also undermines the relevance and effectiveness of a military option, given the widespread understanding that this option is likely impractical in the current circumstances and certainly when it does not have American backing.

  • 2021-11-24

    Tehran has maintained its stringent line of insisting that Washington lift all sanctions, verify their removal, and provide future guarantees before it will lift a finger on resuming compliance with the JCPOA. After a months-long pause, the Iran nuclear negotiations will resume on November 29 in an attempt to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). To set the stage for the Vienna meetings, the official newspaper of President Ebrahim Raisi’s government published an editorial on November 14 titled “Operation Sanctions Defeat.” The article emphasized that Iran has been taking a new approach toward the West for some time now—namely, expanding its uranium enrichment and other nuclear activities in order to put the ball in the international community’s court and force practical responses to the impasse. This strategy aligns with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s rhetoric in recent months indicating his reluctance to return to the JCPOA framework.

  • 2021-11-17

    As the sixth round of Vienna talks aimed at restoring the 2015 Iran nuclear deal ended in June, there was little in either the tone or substance of the public statements by senior American, European Union, German, Iranian, and Russian diplomats that suggested negotiations had hit a snag. They even appeared to agree that the talks had succeeded, in the sense that the remaining decisions needed to be made at the level of political leadership in each of their respective capitals.

  • 2021-11-17

    The Director General remains deeply concerned that nuclear material has been present at three undeclared locations in Iran and that the current locations of this nuclear material are not known to the Agency. The Director General is increasingly concerned that even after more than two years the safeguards issues related to the four locations in Iran not declared to the Agency remain unresolved. -International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael M. Grossi

  • 2021-11-17

    Last year during his presidential campaign President Biden said multiple times that his administration will quickly rejoin the JCPOA, but over a year after his election, that has yet to materialize. This is mostly due to the U.S. refusing to lift all the sanctions that the Trump administration had imposed on Iran, although Iran’s internal political dynamics, and the power struggle between the administration of former President Hassan Rouhani and the hardliners, also played role. Both Iran and the United States have “cards” to play in order to extract concessions from the other side in the upcoming negotiations.

  • 2021-11-05

    Yesterday, on November 4, 2021, the spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced that Iran’s current stockpile of enriched uranium comprises 25 kg of uranium enriched to 60 percent and 210 kg of uranium enriched to 20 percent. The spokesperson did not state the chemical forms of the enriched uranium, although these masses appear to be in the units of equivalent uranium hexafluoride mass. The new numbers appear consistent with previous production rates for near 20 percent enriched uranium, but the rate of production of 60 percent highly enriched uranium (HEU) reflects Iran’s continued use of two advanced centrifuge cascades to make this HEU, a practice it started at the end of the last IAEA reporting period.

  • 2021-10-30

    The Biden administration is not willing to return to the original nuclear deal with Iran. It wants a much different deal that it can then use to further pressure Iran into more, unrelated concessions. That strategy will fail. Iran knows that the U.S. is not serious about returning to the JCPOA.

  • 2021-10-25

    The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has strongly criticized the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying it must not go beyond its authority and allow leak of technical details about Iran’s nuclear activities. […] “We have sent our objections against this time and again … last time, in January 2021, we sent a full briefing notice on the issue asking why the Agency keeps publishing all the technical details on Iran’s activities,” he said. “The information is mainly valuable in commercial terms, and should not be shared with others … unfortunately the IAEA has failed to do this and has shared valuable information, which was at its disposal, with others, in full details.” He noted that the move by the Agency is a violation of its own regulations on “the necessity of keeping countries’ information confidential”.

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