Nuclear Issue

  • 2021-04-11

    First, the administration is divided. According to Foreign Policy magazine, the Biden administration’s negotiator with Iran, Robert Malley, and Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer are in favor of rejoining, but Secretary of State Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan favor a harder line. Second, the powerful pro-Israel lobby has joined in pressing the Biden administration not to rejoin the JCPOA. Third, congressional Democrats are divided. In two separate letters to Blinken, bipartisan groups of about 160 members of the House have  called for continued pressure on Iran. The chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, opposes revival of the JCPOA in its current form. In a statement, Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma warned, “As a reminder: Members of Congress rejected the JCPOA on a bipartisan basis in 2015. If you (Biden) repeat history next week by restoring that failed agreement, we will work to reject it once again.”

  • 2021-04-07

    The Russian position on the JCPOA suggests the following. First, Moscow welcomes the very fact of a return to negotiations. Second, Russia insists on the need to separate nuclear issues from other topics. Otherwise, the possibility of reaching any compromises becomes extremely doubtful. Third, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers a “synchronised approach”. That is, Washington and Tehran must synchronise their concessions: the former unfreezes Iranian assets and lifts sanctions, the latter is gradually returning to the terms of the deal. At the same time, much will depend on what exactly the “synchronised approach” will consist of. For example, the United States could reverse Trump’s 2019 and 2020 executive orders, but keep in effect all sanctions renewed in 2018. Under these conditions, Iran is also unlikely to return to full compliance with its obligations. Timing is also important. The process of returning to the JCPOA could be almost endless. External factors must also be taken into account. Even if it is possible to separate the JCPOA from other issues, they will still have a background influence on the negotiations. The situation in Syria, Yemen and other points of contention that underscore the US-Iranian conflict remain unstable.

  • 2021-03-21

    In Tehran, the initial hopes for what the Biden administration could offer Iran – particularly in terms of a revived economy – are fading. Iranian leaders recognise that, although the new president in the White House says he wants to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal, there has been little tangible shift away from the Trump-era maximum pressure campaign against Iran. While there is still a possibility that the agreement will be revived, it increasingly appears to Tehran that the process will be a marathon and not a sprint. 

  • 2021-03-08

    The new U.S. administration of Joe Biden pursues the same policy that the Trump administration pursued against Iran, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.  Speaking at a weekly press conference, Khatibzadeh said, “For several years, the United States has been driving in the wrong direction on the highway, thinking that others who are on the right path are going wrong. The sooner the United States realizes the right direction of the highway, the better for the international community and multilateralism.” The spokesman said the U.S. should change its path, fully implement its commitments, and lift sanctions, which he described as “crime.” 

  • 2021-02-28

    In a statement on Sunday, Khatibzadeh said, “In view of the recent stances and measures taken by the United States and the three European countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes this is not a good time for holding an unofficial meeting on the accord as proposed by the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell.” "There has been no change in the United States' stances and behaviour, and the Biden administration has not only failed to abandon Trump's failed policy of maximum pressure, but has also failed to declare its commitment to the implementation of all its obligations under the JCPOA and the UN Security Council Resolution 2231."

  • 2021-02-28

    Tehran will respond appropriately in case the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issues a resolution against Iran for suspending the implementation of the Additional Protocol that allowed the IAEA to carry out short-notice inspections, says the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

  • 2021-02-25

    In a Saturday tweet sharing The Guardian's reporting on the Dimona activity, Zarif tagged President Joe Biden, the International Atomic Energy Agency, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and wrote, "Israel is expanding Dimona, the region's only nuclear bomb factory." "Gravely concerned? Concerned? A little? Care to comment? I thought so," tweeted Zarif. Further comment from Iran came Wednesday from Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Iran's ambassador to the U.N. According to state-owned Press TV, Hamaneh said that Israel's attempts to puruse nuclear weapons posed a theat to regional and international peace. He said that "the United States and its Western allies should be held responsible for failure of the efforts to establish a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction given their support for the Tel Aviv regime and equipping it with nuclear arms."

  • 2021-02-25

    This analysis summarizes and assesses information in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA’s) periodic safeguards report, NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the most recent of which was issued on February 23, 2021. The IAEA report itself represents a thorough overview of the IAEA’s investigation in Iran since 2018 and Tehran’s continued stonewalling of IAEA requests for explanations and clarifications about undeclared nuclear material and activities. The IAEA calls on Iran to “clarify and resolve these issues without further delay.” 

  • 2021-02-25

    This report assesses information in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) quarterly safeguards report for February 23, 2021, Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), including Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 

  • 2021-02-23

    China has renewed its proposal to convene an international meeting of all parties to the nuclear deal with Iran (JCPOA), including the United States, with the goal of discussing the US return to the agreement. On the eve of the first telephone conversation between the US and Chinese Presidents (February 11, 2021), the special US Envoy for Iran issue and the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister considered ways to coordinate moves on the JCPOA. Active mediation on the Iranian nuclear issue may be part of a broader Chinese policy aimed at promoting cooperation with the Biden administration on essential issues to the United States in exchange for preservation of China's core interests, and as part of its position as a permanent member of the Security Council. China presumes that Israel will continue to oppose an agreement with Iran and will not support Beijing's moves. Israel, for its part, should closely monitor China's moves, coordinate its policies with the United States and the Gulf states, and seek to promote dialogue at the level of the Chinese leadership, while strengthening direct contact with senior diplomats dealing with the Iranian issue.