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The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi (right), speaks with the deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, upon his arrival at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on Saturday.
What The Election Of A New Hard-Line President In Iran Means For The Nuclear Deal
The Biden administration, along with European counterparts, has been attempting to restore the deal. But it has been unclear whether Iran, headed by hard-line president Ebrahim Raisi since last month, would be receptive to further negotiations. Now, some analysts say the door may be open.
«Iran’s eleventh-hour deal with the IAEA defers a crisis that an Iranian administration intent on wrecking the JCPOA would have welcomed,» said Ali Vaez, director of the Iran Project at the Crisis Group. «This was the first test for Raisi and it is now clear that he wants the JCPOA restored. Whether he can marshal enough flexibility within the political establishment in Tehran to agree to the requisite painful compromises is a different question.»
The agreement «keeps alive the chances for talks on a return to compliance with the JCPOA to resume, probably in early October,» said Barbara Slavin, director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council. «My main concern now is that the Iranian negotiating team stays largely intact and that Iran builds on the progress made in six rounds of prior talks in Vienna.»
But there’s another way to look at recent events, says Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. «Observers ought not to be fooled: this is power politics,» said Ben Taleblu, who supports a new censure resolution against Iranian nuclear advances.
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization had said in February that it would continue recording information for potential review by the IAEA. But the atomic watchdog said in May that it hadn’t been able to access key data since February.
«This latest ‘save’ by the IAEA appears to keep the Ponzi-scheme going from February that the IAEA will have access to monitoring data,» Ben Taleblu said. «Whereas in reality Iran could resurrect this crisis in a few months time by threatening to delete monitoring tapes and other data if not offered sanctions relief.»
Speaking to reporters, Grossi acknowledged that the agreement was a stopgap measure. «This cannot be a permanent solution,» he said. «If you ask me how many months, how many days, it’s difficult for me to say. But I don’t see this as a long term prospect.»
- Iran nuclear deal