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03/17/2021

On US – Iranian relations and the nuclear deal

On US – Iranian relations and the nuclear deal

US position on JCPOA and more

The US aims to extend the duration and the scope of the nuclear deal with Iran and to include regional issues as well as Iranian defense capabilities. The Trump administration, through his maximum pressure policy, attempted to bring Tehran to a negotiating table so as to impose further restrictions on Iran via-a-vis the nuclear and non-nuclear issues. But Trump failed to force Iran to its knees. The Biden administration seems to be following a similar agenda but via different method and path. There is no reason for Iran to give in to the Biden administration pressure, given it did not accept the demands by Trump.

How would a US return to nuclear agreement affect domestic politics of Iran?

If the US returns into compliance with the nuclear and lifts the sanctions before the upcoming Iranian presidential election, the reformists and pro-Rouhani factions will see their chance of victory in the election increasing relatively. The popularity of the nuclear deal, as well as the Rouhani administration has suffered significantly as a result of the US withdrawal from the deal and re-imposing of sanctions against Iran. Thus, revival of the nuclear accord and lifting sanctions can give a new life to the deal and current government in Tehran.

In the case that the US does not fulfill its commitments and the sanctions remain in place, Reformists and Rouhani will continue to lose ground in the country. This will pave the way for conservatives to win the third branch of government in the upcoming presidential election. 

Tensions up in Iraq after US exits nuclear deal

Iranian officials including the President and the Foreign Minister have described some of the recent developments in Iraq as suspicious. They claim that these aim at causing an escalation between Iran and the US in the region, so that that the pending nuclear deal can be buried once and all.

But it is no secret that the level of tensions in the region has raised, after the US has exited from the nuclear agreement. Accordingly, a likely revival of the deal and abandoning maximum pressure against Tehran can make an impact in reducing the level of tension in the region.

Iranian leadership evaluated Pope’s visit positively

The Pope’s visit to Iraq and his meeting with Ayatollah Sistani was a good move in further engagement between the two religions. Iranian senior officials and leadership looked at the meeting positively, and officials close to Iranian leader hailed the remarks by Ayatollah Sistani in the meeting.

Abas Aslani
Abas Aslani is a senior research fellow at the Center for Middle East Strategic Studies (CMESS), based in Tehran. Aslani is also a senior Iranian journalist who writes on Iran. He has covered Iran nuclear talks and the developments regarding 2015 nuclear deal.

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