Things seem to have gone nowhere regarding the Iran nuclear deal since the start of Biden’s term in the White House as both the United States and Iran have expressed hopelessness about breaking the stalemate in the upcoming talks. As both the US and Iran have been engaged in indirect talks in Vienna, both sides question each other’s will to go ahead to create a sense of optimism, as Washington clearly shows pessimism whereas Tehran asks Washington and European negotiators to show their cards. In a way, Biden has failed to break the seal his predecessor Trump had made on the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, brokered by Biden’s senior party man and president Obama. The only ray of hope in the whole affair is that both sides are trying to save the deal, even though US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement that “I have to tell you, recent moves, recent rhetoric, don’t give us a lot of cause for … optimism”. On the other hand, Iran has handed over a list of demands it seeks from the European negotiators about the sanctions and nuclear commitments, which should be resolved if they want to see Tehran’s compliance with the deal terms. It means both sides want to keep the talks ongoing and reach a point of common engagement but the time is running out. Four days have passed in the indirect talks between the two sides, without any concrete outcome so far.
The fact is that Iran was imposed with certain sanctions in exchange for removing certain restrictions slapped on it by the US and European Union to make the Persian region nuclear free. Iran has been following the deal terms even though the sanctions were never fully lifted, and after a few, the US unilaterally came out of the accord and also forced the European partners to break the rules. Now there are reports, mainly made by the UN nuclear watchdog, that Iran has resumed its uranium enriched programme with advanced centrifuges, eroding the chances of the success of the ongoing talks. Perhaps Iran is doing so after receiving no response from the counterparts on its demands. For that reason, Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri has said that “We have delivered two proposed drafts to them … Of course, they need to check the texts that we have provided to them. If they are ready to continue the talks, we are in Vienna to continue the talks”. Let both sides keep the talks rolling. At the end of the day, there will be solutions.