What stops Iran, US from reviving the 2015 nuclear deal?

9/4/2022 10:05:38 AM
 The latest European Union-mediated talks between Iran and the United States also saw participation by China, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
 photo: EU Delegation in Vienna/ Reuters
After both sides agreed on most issues, the Iran-US agreement boiled down to one point; the IAEA's investigation into three sites in Iran where nuclear waste has been found, according to agency.

The United States has agreed with Iran to roll back its nuclear activities in exchange for the US to lift sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic linked to its nuclear program. However, the IAEA agency says Iran doesn't allow the agency to know whether the uranium discovered has a military dimension under an investigation that started in 2019.

Iran doesn't allow the inspections because it believes it is related to the International Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and not the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The nuclear deal with the United States does not cover this issue. Since Tehran wants to revive the 2015 deal to loosen its sanctions, an agreement without IAEA closing its investigations would make international lifting sanctions on Iran difficult. Such a scenario would humiliate the supreme leader and Iran's leadership. The to-be-revived agreement would give the parties 120 days to implement its provisions.

The IAEA has been investigating the three areas since 2019, the last time Iran blocked them. The IAEA said one of the areas is the Iranian city of Marivan, which it has called a test zone.

This is the only issue blocking the agreement, despite pressure on the head of the nuclear agency to close the issue, as was done in 2015.

But because the IAEA's 22 member states must unanimously vote on a resolution to pass, it makes such a decision difficult. Israel was very influential when it failed to convince the Biden administration to sign the deal.

Although, on Friday, the United States said the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and the Iran-US nuclear deal were two separate issues, meaning it was asking the IAEA to close the matter. There were still ways to move the talks in Vienna forward.

The United States cannot sign the agreement without the approval of the IAEA because it reported to the UN Security Council. Without returning to the UN Security Council, the United States would hurt its international trust among allies and weaken its obligation to international organizations and treaties in the eyes of the world, at a time it wants to reassure allies of upholding international norms and principles as China and Russia work to undermine the US-led global order.

Then the United States is the founder and supporter of these organizations, and they monitor and assist the US global system. The US would be better off with their help rather than acting against them.

A deal between the US and Iran would not lead to a broader reproachment any time soon. Clashes between the US and Iran backed forces are frequent throughout the Middle East. After Biden’s hopes were dashed in Saudi Arabia, in a trip he hoped to convince the oil Kingdome to increase oil production, Iran has become Biden’s only hope to bring energy prices down, and satisfy Europe as Russia has restricted its sale to Europe and has turned the continent against Ukraine.

Experts say that Iran would flood the market with 1 to 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, if a deal is reached. It would reduce oil price to 65$ by 2023. Iran deal would help the West against Russia in Ukraine when lowered energy prices diminish Russia’s war chest.

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