Iran-US Deal | Editorial

The question of whether the US and Iran will return to a peace deal has turned into a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ saga. It was expected that Joe Biden’s presidency would signal a complete shift from the hostility of the Trump administration towards Iran and result in a return to the Iran Nuclear Deal. However, some incident or the other occurs, and relations between the two countries appear to worsen again.

For the past few months, it seems that signs were changing and relations might move towards normalcy but voting in of the new President, the conservative Ebrahim Raisi, stalled the process.

However, the sessions of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday may break the shackles of that stagnancy. The leaders of both countries, in a backhanded way, indicated a desire to return to normalcy, or at least acquiesced to being open to negotiations.

President Ebrahim Raisi voiced support for reviving the nuclear deal and for renewed nuclear negotiations, even while in the midst of a tirade against what he called the decline of US hegemony. On the other hand, US President Joe Biden, in his own address, reiterated his willingness to return to the nuclear accord and lift sanctions, but also asserted firmly that he would do everything to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

While these may not be the most diplomatic statements of conciliation, the addresses at the UNGA are a positive sign that relations are thawing. The Vienna talks, where world powers were to hold six rounds of indirect talks between the United States and Iran in Vienna to try and work out how both can return to compliance with the nuclear pact, were adjourned in June. Iran has now formally announced its interest in resuming the talks, which could go a long way in bringing a return to the JCPOA.

Source: Published in The Nation​

September 24, 2021

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