Middle East

U.S. gives Iran sanctions relief as nuclear weapons discuss in a balanced manner

The State Department’s announcement of the exemption lifts the threat of sanctions against third parties working with the non-military part of Iran’s nuclear program under the terms of the 2015 Agreement.

Washington indirectly participates in European-mediated negotiations on the resurgence of Iran’s nuclear deal. (AP)

The Biden administration has restored easing of sanctions on Iran’s atomic program as negotiations aimed at bailout the sluggish nuclear deal in 2015 have entered a critical phase.

When U.S. negotiators return to Vienna for a possible break session, Secretary of State Antony Blinken signs an exemption from some sanctions related to Iran’s private citizenship. did. This move overturns the Trump administration’s decision to revoke them.

If the New Deal on managing Tehran’s nuclear program can be achieved at the meeting in Vienna, resuming the exemption is “essential to ensure prompt compliance with Iran” on Friday. Said.

The exemption aims to seduce Iran to return to compliance with the 2015 agreement, which had been violated since former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and re-imposed U.S. sanctions. .. Iran says it does not respect the terms of the transaction as the United States first withdrew it. Iran has called for the restoration of all sanctions relief promised to return to compliance under the agreement.

Friday’s move is against foreign countries and companies in Russia, China and Europe that were cooperating with the non-military part of Iran’s nuclear program under the terms of the 2015 Agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Remove the threat of sanctions.

The Trump administration ended the so-called “civil nuclear” exemption in May 2020 as part of the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran that began when Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in 2018, which is the worst. He has negotiated so far, complaining that it is a diplomatic agreement, and has given Iran a way to develop a bomb.

As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden prioritized the return of the United States to a nuclear deal, and his administration pursued that goal, but little progress has been made towards that goal since he took office a year ago. rice field. Government officials said the exemption was restored to advance negotiations in Vienna.

“The exemptions for these activities are designed to facilitate discussions that will help Iran close a deal on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA and lay the foundation for Iran to return to the fulfillment of JCPOA’s promises. “We are,” said the State Department. Notification to Congress announcing the move.

“It is also designed to serve the interests of US non-proliferation and nuclear security and constrain Iran’s nuclear activities,” the ministry said. “It is issued as a matter of discretion of the policy with these objectives in mind and is not in compliance with our commitments or as part of the Quid Protocol.

We focus on working with our partners and allies to counter all the threats that Iran poses. “

A copy of the State Department notice and the actual exemption signed by Blinken were obtained by the Associated Press.

This exemption allows foreign countries and companies to work on private projects at Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, its Arak heavy water facility, and the Tehran Research Reactor. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revoked his exemption in May 2020 and accused Iran of “nuclear blackmail” for continuing and expanding work in the field.

Critics of the nuclear deal, which urged Trump to withdraw, argue that even if the Biden administration wants to return to the 2015 deal, it should at least demand Iran to make some concessions before allowing the sanctions to be relaxed. did.

“From a negotiating point of view, they look desperate. They give up sanctions before making a deal. Say” yes “to anything. “Rich Goldberg, a senior adviser to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an opponent of the vocal trade, said.

A senior State Department official familiar with the exemption argued that the move was not a “concession” to Iran, but “for the benefit of our region and the world, as well as our significant national interests.” ..

Officials were not allowed to discuss this issue publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Source: AP

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