Many experts and analysts believe that the planned talks in Vienna will be a breakthrough for the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the United States (US). However, Tehran’s rejection of “step-by-step” easing of restrictions indicates that the talks might fail to achieve the desired goals. To be fair to Iran, it was not Tehran that violated the deal. Yet, the attitude of the Biden administration towards Tehran is not healthy; it will not help it to return to the 2015 deal.
Instead of admitting the faults in the policies of the previous government, America’s demand from Iran to show compliance to the agreement’s terms when their compliance went long after the original deal was broken is unjust. The allies of the US, instead of asking Iran to show a positive attitude, should recommend the US to acknowledge past mistakes. Showing inflexibility will take this situation nowhere. The Biden administration must attend the meeting without demanding anything from Iran to give life to the dead deal.
Similarly, China and Russia must persuade Tehran that sticking to an extreme position is not the best tactic to win itself concessions. The two powers enjoy good ties with Tehran and they can persuade the Iranian government to be “constructive”. Holding one’s ground in the current scenario is going to benefit neither the US nor Iran. Both need to learn to compromise. Otherwise, the matter may be left unresolved entirely.
Nevertheless, the success of the upcoming meeting is dependent on finding common ground. If the US cuts back on some of the harshest sanctions, Biden’s administration will show a practical demonstration of its commitment to upholding the nuclear deal. Even if then, the remaining sanctions are contingent on certain nuclear cutbacks, it is still a reasonable step forward that Iran might be more willing to accept. But before anything else, giving some breathing space to Iran is essential to make the Vienna talks fruitful.