European Union’s Enrique Mora (C) and Iran Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri Kani (R) at the Vienna nuclear talks, December 9, 2021 (AFP/Getty)
UPDATE, SEPT 20:
The European Union’s coordination of the Iran nuclear talks, Josep Borrell, has reiterated that Tehran’s response has put any deal on hold.
“There is a proposal from the coordinator on the table and it will remain on the table. I don’t see a better solution and it won’t become caduc (null and void),” Borrell told reporters of the eve of the UN General Assembly session in New York.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna emphasized, “There will not be a better offer on the table and it’s up to Iran to take the right decisions.”
She and other Western diplomats confirmed that there are no initiatives at present to break the stalemate, following Iran’s reply to the EU’s “final text” at the start of September.
Tehran is insisting on a halt or sharp restrictions on International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of its nuclear program.
The head of Iran’s nuclear energy agency, Mohammad Eslami, insisted on Monday, “There are indications that the IAEA intends to close the case of the three sites [undeclared locations where nuclear particles were discovered[. We hope that they will be honest and do not waste more time in order to pressure Iran.”
A “source close to Iran’s nuclear team” said Tehran has lost interest in reviving a deal that can only last until January 2025, the possible end of the Biden Administration’s term in the US.
“Our nuclear program is advancing every day and this time is on our side. Let them be worried about it,” the source postured.
UPDATE, SEPT 12:
The three European powers in the 2015 nuclear deal have signalled that Iran’s latest response may have doomed the talks to revive the agreement.
France, Germany, and the UK said in a Saturday statement, “Given Iran’s failure to conclude the deal on the table we will consult, alongside international partners, on how best to address Iran’s continued nuclear escalation and lack of cooperation with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] regarding its NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] safeguards agreement.”
The trio noted the final text of the European Union, sent to Tehran last month, with “additional changes that took us to the limit of our flexibility”:
Unfortunately, Iran has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity. Instead, Iran continues to escalate its nuclear program way beyond any plausible civilian justification.
The statement specifically says that “Iran reopened separate issues” over “its legally binding international obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty”, by demanding limits on International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.
Our position remains clear and steadfast. Iran must fully and, without delay, cooperate in good faith with the IAEA. It is up to Iran to provide technically credible answers to the IAEA’s questions on the whereabouts of all nuclear material on its territory. The JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] can in no way be used to release Iran from legally binding obligations that are essential to the global non-proliferation regime.
Iranian State outlets have reacted by featuring the declaration of Seyed Mohammad Marandi, the spokesman for its nuclear negotiators, that the European powers and the US are “untrustworthy“.
Without referring to Iran’s demands over the IAEA, Marandi postures, “If the US/E3 had not dragged their feet in Vienna, there could have been a deal months ago”
UPDATE, SEPT 3:
Multiple sources confirm that Iran is insisting on the halt or strict limits on International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of its nuclear facilities, jeopardizing renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Tehran is asking for an explicit commitment of the closure of IAEA investigations, including of nuclear particles found in undisclosed sites before 2003, before any reimplementation of the agreement.
US and European officials say Iran had dropped the demand in their response of August 15 to the draft European Union “final text”, but have now reinstated it.
One European official summarized:
Iran has moved us very far back — at a time when, thanks to the EU coordinator’s perseverance, and everyone’s flexibility, we were almost there.
It’s very difficult to know whether this is fixable. In any case, Iran has given a clear signal it is not interested in a deal now.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre amplified the immediate US rejection of the latest Iran reply: “There should not be any conditionality between re-implementation of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and investigations related to Iran’s legal obligations under the Non-proliferation Treaty.”
Meanwhile, Iran has begun enrichment of uranium with hundreds of advanced centrifuges, which were banned under the 2015 deal.
While we keep going back and forth on the #JCPOA talks, Iran has in the past week started enriching with as many as 348 advanced IR-6 centrifuges at its underground Natanz plant, the IAEA has informed member states in two separate reports. 1/9
— François Murphy (@francoismurphy) September 2, 2022
UPDATE, SEPT 2:
The US has quickly rejected Iran’s response to the draft nuclear deal set out by the European Union.
After nine days of deliberation over the draft and American comments on its initial reply, Iran delivered its response at 3 a.m. Tehran time/6:30 p.m. Washington. It declared “a constructive approach” for “finalizing the negotiations”.
But a US State Department spokesman replied minutes later, “We can confirm that we have received Iran’s response through the EU. We are studying it and will respond through the EU, but unfortunately it is not constructive.”
A “senior Biden Administration official” said, ““We are studying Iran’s response, but the bottom line is that it is not at all encouraging. Based on their answer we appear to be moving backwards.”
A European diplomat said Tehran’s reply looked “negative and not reasonable”.
No details were given, but Iranian officials have indicated that they want to halt or sharply limit International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of nuclear facilities. Tehran has curbed IAEA monitoring, withholding video surveillance tapes and removing cameras, and is resisting the agency’s pursuit of an explanation of nuclear material found at three undisclosed sites before 2003.
See also Iran: No Monitoring of Nuclear Facilities Until 2015 Deal Renewed
The EU submitted the draft final text of the agreement on August 8. Iran responded a week later, with the US submitting its comments on August 24.
The negotiations are seeking a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal with a US return after the withdrawal by the Trump Administration in May 2018, the lifting of American sanctions on Tehran, and Iran’s return to compliance with the terms.
UPDATE 1648 GMT:
Iran has received the US response to Tehran’s comments on the European Union “final text”.
Nasser Kananni @IRIMFA_SPOX says Iran has received the US response to Iran's comments on the EU proposal to revive the JCPOA through the EU coordinator of the talks this evening. https://t.co/VjOCi0o9l2
— Adam Nima Pourahmadi (@ANPour) August 24, 2022
A “person familiar with the US response” said the document focuses on the issue of economic guarantees: “[It] falls short of Iran’s expectations. So now we have to see if they realize this is as good as it gets or decide to push for more.”
UPDATE, AUGUST 24:
The US is expected to deliver its response on Wednesday to Iran’s comments on a European Union “final text” for a renewed nuclear deal.
A “senior Administration official” e-mailed journalists on Tuesday that some US security concerns have been met by Tehran’s statement, issued on August 15.
The official said that, under the renewal of the 2015 deal, Iran will again be prohibited from enriching and stockpiling uranium above very limited levels. Iran will not be allowed to hold any 20% and 60% enriched uranium that it has produced since 2019, breaking the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Iran will also give up thousands of advanced centrifuges, including all of the centrifuges in the fortified underground facility at Fordow. Pursuit of a plutonium-based nuclear weapon will be blocked by a prohibition on reprocessing and the redesign of the Arak reactor that could be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
The official said that as a result, Iran would need at least six months to produce enriched uranium for one nuclear warhead if it left the deal.
The major obstacle to an agreement appears to be Iran’s insistence on limits of International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of nuclear facilities.
Iran has been censured by the IAEA Board of Governors for failing to provide information on nuclear material found at three undisclosed sites. Tehran — which was already withholding surveillance videos — responded by removing cameras from facilities.
See also Iran: No Monitoring of Nuclear Facilities Until 2015 Deal Renewed
Iran’s comments have reportedly demanded the closure of the file on its historic nuclear activities. On Wednesday, the outlet of the Supreme National Security Council, Nour News, attacked IAEA head Rafael Grossi.
The continued adoption of political approaches by the Director General of the IAEA in a situation that Western officials and media are optimistic about reaching an agreement, shows that Rafael Grossi is still the main obstacle to the finalization of the sanctions-lifting negotiations, along with the Zionist regime.
Grossi appealed in a televised interview on Monday, “Give us answers and access to people and places so we can clarify a lot of things that need to be clarified.”
The US official said that under the “final text” of the EU, “the IAEA would again be able to implement the most comprehensive inspections regime ever negotiated, allowing it to detect any Iranian effort to pursue a nuclear weapon covertly”.
The official said, “At this stage, I’m not sure Iran will say yes.”
The University of Tehran’s Seyed Mohammad Marandi, the English-language spokesperson for the Iranian delegation in the nuclear talks, signalled that Iran has dropped its demand that the US lift its 2019 designation of the Revolutionary Guards as a “foreign terrorist organization”. He lied that Tehran had never insisted on this as a precondition for a deal.
However, he reinforced Tehran’s demands over the IAEA:
Very misleading. I've said for MONTHS, removing the Guards from the FTO is not a precondition.
No deal will be implemented before the IAEA Board of Directors PERMANENTLY closes the false accusations file.
Iran's nuclear program will not be dismantled.https://t.co/J8OLsqlhwS
— Seyed Mohammad Marandi (@s_m_marandi) August 23, 2022
Mohammad Eslami, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said Wednesday, “We are committed to inspections in the framework of the nuclear deal that are linked to nuclear restrictions which we have accepted in the past… Not one word more, not one word less.”
UPDATE, AUGUST 16:
Facing a European Union deadline, Iran has delivered a response to the EU’s “final text” for revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The EU had called for agreement by all parties (Iran, US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia) by midnight on Monday. Iran did not give its assent, but a “senior Western official” said Tehran sent a response on Monday evening.
Nabila Massrali, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, confirmed Iran’s reply on Tuesday, “We are studying it and are consulting with the other JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] participants and the US on the way ahead.”
The Iranian response is focused on assurances over sanctions, guarantees that the deal will not be suspended, and safeguards including International Atomic Energy Agency inspections.
See also Iran: No Monitoring of Nuclear Facilities Until 2015 Deal Renewed
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, chaired by President Ebrahim Raisi, held an extraordinary meeting on Monday afternoon.
The Western official said that while Iran wanted to continue discussions on some issues, its response was not “too inflammatory”.
Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a Tehran University academic and de facto English-language spokesman for Iran’s nuclear delegation, tweeted on Monday:
In its response Iran has expressed its concerns, but…the remaining issues are not very difficult to resolve. Those concerns are founded upon past US/EU violations. I can’t say that there will be a deal, but we’re closer than we’ve been before.
Marandi, who is usually hostile towards the US and European powers, signalled last month that Iran was dropping a key demand holding up the talks since March. The academic indicated that the Biden Administration did not have to removed Iran’s Revolutionary Guards from a list of “foreign terrorist organizations”.
UPDATE, AUGUST 12:
A “senior Iranian diplomat” says the European Union’s draft to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal “can be acceptable if they provide Iran with assurance on the issues of safeguards, sanctions. and guarantees”.
On Monday, the EU put forward a “final” text after four days of indirect talks between Americans and Iranian officials in Vienna. Delegations returned to national capitals for consultations about the document.
A “senior EU official” made clear that there can be no more changes of the draft. He said he expects a final decision from all parties (Iran, US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia) within a “very, very few weeks”.
Iranian officials have publicly rejected that the text is “final”, reserving their position in saying they would convey their “additional views and considerations” after consultations in Tehran.
UPDATE, AUGUST 8:
Iran and the US are close to agreement on renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, says the European Union’s broker of the discussions.
Enrique Mora said on Sunday evening that the text of an agreement could be closed in forthcoming hours: “We were negotiating some technical questions that were open in the text. We are advancing and I expect that we will close this negotiation soon.”
A remaining obstacle is Iran’s demand that the International Atomic Energy Agency close its multi-year investigation of Tehran’s nuclear program.
The IAEA is examining the presence of nuclear material at three undeclared Iranian sites. Iran responded by limiting IAEA inspections and refusing to hand over surveillance videos.
Iran cut off more than 20 monitoring cameras on June 9, after the IAEA Board of Governors censured Tehran for failing to comply with inspections and to provide necessary information.
See also Iran: No Monitoring of Nuclear Facilities Until 2015 Deal Renewed
Western officials have said they will not intervene to close or set a deadline for the IAEA investigation. A “Western diplomat” said there will be no reference to any Iranian demand in the final text of an agreement.
There are no formal negotiations on Monday because of Iran’s religious day of Ashura. However, diplomats said there are informal discussions.
UPDATE, AUGUST 5:
A “senior EU official” says progress was made in renewed talks on Thursday over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The official said the progress in Vienna included guarantees that the US will not again withdraw from the deal. Iran has sought the assurances after the Trump Administration unilaterally walked out of the agreement in May 2018, imposing comprehensive sanctions on Tehran six months later.
Despite questions about how the US can deliver the assurance — given opposition by many Republicans in Congress to such a provision — the official said, “We have now quite substantial guarantees. It’s my understanding that Iran is happy and feels satisfied with what is in the text.”
The official also confirmed that Iran has dropped its demand for removal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the US list of “foreign terrorist organizations”.
The issue will be handled “in the future” apart from the deal, the source said.
However, discussions are ongoing about “issues related to sanctions lifting and a couple of nuclear questions that did not exist in March as the Iranians advanced their program”. The official summarized:
We are a bit exhausted, I cannot imagine myself here in four weeks. This is not another round, we are here to finalize the text.
I think there is a real possibility, but it’s not going to be easy.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, AUGUST 4: Talks on renewal of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resume in Vienna on Thursday, but European and US officials are cautious about any advance.
The negotiations are seeking re-entry of the US to the agreement, which also includes the UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia; the lifting of American sanctions on Tehran; and Iran’s return to compliance with the terms, including limits on enrichment of uranium.
The discussions were close to completion in March; however, they stalled over Tehran’s insistence that the US remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from the list of “foreign terrorist organizations”. The Trump Administration added the IRGC in April 2019, five months after withdrawing from the deal.
The renewal of the discussions was finally prompted last week by the tabling of a draft text by the European Union’s foreign policy head Josep Borrell.
See also New EU Proposals To Break Deadlock in Iran Nuclear Talks
“I Doubt Iran Will Seize This Opportunity”
European and US officials emphasized on Wednesday that Borrell’s draft is largely a reiteration of the position from March, in the hope that Iran will no longer set the condition over the IRGC.
There have been signals from the Iranians that they will separate the nuclear discussions from the issue of the Guards; however, European and US officials do not expect completion of the agreement on March’s terms in the near future.
A diplomat from one of the European countries in the agreement said:
My expectations are very low. I doubt Iran will seize this opportunity; it risks being more about trying to play things out and blurring responsibilities.
But situation is very clear: there is a text on table which Borrell described as best possible. There may be some room for clarifications and minor points mainly between US and Iran. This is why E3 [UK, France, and Germany] negotiators are not going.
The diplomat emphasized, “Iran must drop demands both extraneous to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and unrealistic,” specifically mentioning Tehran’s demand that the International Atomic Energy Agency halt its investigation of nuclear material at three undisclosed sites.
Censured by the IAEA Board of Governors, Iran has sharply curbed inspections and monitors, removing cameras from nuclear facilities and withholding surveillance videos.
Iran signalled on Wednesday that it will not make any compromises in Vienna. Its lead negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri Kani, tweeted:
Heading to Vienna to advance the negotiations. The Onus is on those who breached the deal & have failed to distance from ominous legacy. The US must seize the opportunity offered by the JCPOA partners’ generosity; ball is in their court to show maturity & act responsibly.
— علی باقریکنی (@Bagheri_Kani) August 3, 2022
Relatives Of People Killed In 1988 Mass Executions In Iran Outraged By Changes Made At Cemetery
What Iran wants to see happen (according to my own confidential sources):
1. The US not only assures it will not withdraw again, but agrees to rescind sanctions legislation in 2024 as it is required to do so under the original terms.
2. The US forfeits or modifies its right to “snapback on” UN sanctions. Trump couldn’t do this as he had left the JCPOA.
3. The US fully lifts banking sanctions, including on humanitarian trade – as the ICJ ruled in favour of Iran regarding.
4. The US does not try and extend the limits under the original agreement.
5. The US does not reimpose nuclear-related sanctions under the guise of anything else.
6. The US respects the lifting of the arms embargo and end of ballistic missile restrictions next year.
7. The EU promises to take the US to the WTO if it leaves again and enforces its “blocking statute”.
8. Almosty all Trump-era additional sanctions are lifted.
9. The United States accepts responsibility for having left the agreement without cause.
Iran is no longer requiring the IRGC be de-listed and sanctions against its main engineering arm, Khatam-ol-Anbia, are lifted.
Final text for the agreement produced: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/talks-revive-iran-nuclear-deal-end-produce-final-88100272
The text is being reviewed by all parties.
More on the finalization of the text of the agreeement: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/08/08/agreement-nuclear-deal-iran-us-talks-vienna-00050288
“A senior EU official on Monday confirmed that the bloc has finalized the draft text in its role as coordinator and facilitator and has introduced solutions to the four technical questions that had remained open. It is now up to capitals to consider this text. It is the best possible effort. We have negotiated ad nauseam every single aspect,” the official said. The senior EU official confirmed that negotiators will leave Vienna in the next few hours and that the draft text is 25 pages long.
The draft text will not solve the outstanding questions by the IAEA into the past nuclear program, the EU official explained. “It is a process between Iran and the Agency. There is no link between the two.”
“Over the past five days, negotiators have also worked out solutions to “technical questions” that had remained open in the final draft text that will restore the JCPOA.One of them has to do with the details of the reinstallation of cameras that were used to monitor Tehran’s compliance under the JCPOA and that Iran switched off in June in retaliation for the IAEA Board of Governors censure. Another technical nuclear question is apparently related to the small amount of 60 percent enriched uranium that has been converted and irradiated and that cannot be shipped out of Iran due to high radioactivity. Under the JCPOA, all highly-enriched uranium has to be shipped out of the country. According to a senior Western official with knowledge of the matter, the final draft text contains possible solutions to both issues.”
New poll of the Iranian public reveal divisions in society: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5525d831e4b09596848428f2/t/62fa5e9d39a27e00b2cd0383/1660575390001/2022-July-IranPoll-CISSM+-+Trend+Tables+as+Released.pdf
1. On the war in the Ukraine, a majority of Iranians (understandbly for having been invaded themselves) oppose the Russian intervention (Q12). However, a majority also understand Russia’s reasons for the invasion, namely to check NATO expansionism (Q11). They blame the West and Russia alike (Q9).
2. Iranians are becoming more interested in expanding trade and improving relations with the West rather than relying on domestic capabilities (Q4, Q5).
3. Iranians remain hostile to the United States (75% having a negative opinion in Q6).
4 The Iranian public is losing confidence in the Raisi government’s ability to deliver on its promisers (Q30)..
Well, talking about iranians filling hostile….
Mad At Mullahs: Attacks Against Iranian Clerics Highlight Rising Public Anger
Mohammad Marandi tells Becky Anderson about how the text for reviving the nuclear agreement has shifted in the last 7-8 months (in Iran;s favour:): https://twitter.com/BeckyCNN/status/1559581776258949120
Having known Marandi for 20+ years, I recognize his task is to promote a PR line favorable to the Iranian leadership, rather than to provide a factual account — that is no different here.
I disagree. He stated what others are whispering about: https://twitter.com/ArshiaJolivet/status/1560277936653357056
-Lift sanx on 17 banks
– Foreign companies exempt from sanx in the event of US withdrawal
– Revocation of 3 US executive orders
– Selling 50 million barrels of oil for 120 days
– Lift sanx on 150 institutions incl Imam’s command HQ
– Freeing $7 billion in SK
What Marandi also mentioned was that Iran wants “inherent guarantees” that would allow it to quickly increase its nuclear activites in the event of another American violation. He stated correctly that these guarantees that Iran is seeking is to preserve the deal by making it costly for the United States to once again withdraw. Nobody is going to invest long term in the Iranian economy if there remains much uncertainty about sanctions.
This is far different from the PR claim that the talks “shifted in Iran’s favor” (which is a contradiction of Marandi’s line since March that US and Europe were being unreasonable) — it’s whispers about the details of some, but not all, steps in the current details of the talks.
“This is far different from the PR claim that the talks “shifted in Iran’s favor” (which is a contradiction of Marandi’s line since March that US and Europe were being unreasonable) — it’s whispers about the details of some, but not all, steps in the current details of the talks.”
You are not privy to the talks that Marandi is a part of. Everyone seems to acknowledge that the deal on the table in March has changed now with more guarantees and more sanctions loosened.
Btw, Marandi is not some government stooge. Like Jalili, he fought in the war with Iraq and had the experience of being bombed with weapons supplied to Saddam Hussein by the West. That drives his attitude towards western regimes, even though he is a big fan of American sports and culture having lived there.
Actually, I am privy to the talks — and I have 20+ years experience of Marandi’s tactics.
And you distort here — I agree that the deal has changed since March, but not because of concessions only side as Marandi wants to portray.
As EA noted weeks ago, the catalyst was Iran dropping its demand that the US remove the Revolutionary Guards from its list of “foreign terrorist organizations”.
Who gave that signal? Marandi.
I don’t think you are actually part of the negotiating teams. Marandi is a consultant to Bagheri-Kani and has accompanied the Iranian team.
According to reports, the FTO listing on the IRGC will remain, but western companies will still be able to do business with its industrial and commercial affiliates – which is what Tehran wanted all along. The Americans are publicly denying this, but have given their assurances in private.
Note that Biden said Iran would only be offered sanctions relief only once it returned to full compliance. That is no longer the case.
But let’s see if there is an agreement and what the text looks like.
I appreciate that you don’t understand Marandi’s actual role, not only during these negotiations, but for many years. I’m fortunate to have known this first-hand.
Saudi-funded IRAN INTERNATIONAL claims to have the full leaked details of the imminent agreeement that list major American concessions:
1. On the issue of the FTO listing of the IRGC: https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1560676390105645063
“Issue of removing IRGC from FTO list will be discussed in talks that will follow revival of JCPOA, but the US guarantees its sanctions against IRGC wouldn’t affect other sectors & firms: e.g. US won’t sanction a petrochemical company because of doing business with IRGC.”
2. On the issue of sanctioned institutions linked to the Leadership: https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1560676642686926848
“In addition to annulment of three Trump Executive Orders related to the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, Iran has received concessions from US on two of its other EOs which deal with sanctions on public institutions like Bonyad, Astan Quds & IKRF as well as arms embargo.”
3. On the issue of the contentious snapback mechanism for UN sanctions: https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1560676390105645063
“The snapback mechanism can only be triggered based on an IAEA report. If one country triggers the mechanism unilaterally, other parties commit not to cooperate with it, and compensate the Iranian side”.
4. On the subject of US business guarantees: https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1560676390105645063
“The US guarantees all the companies working in Iran until end of Biden’s tenure will remain exempted from US sanctions for 2.5 years after the US withdrawal: e.g. if a Republican president leaves JCPOA on first day in office, companies remain exempted for 2.5 years afterwards.”
5. On the subject of prisoner exchanges and the release of Iranian assets: https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1560676390105645063
“Iran will free all US prisoners once the $7 billion worth of its assets frozen in South Korea are released. Bagheri says Iran and US had earlier agreed on this but the US reneged on its promise, assuming the money will give Iran financial breathing room to raise new demands”
6. On the subject of Iran’s advanced centrifuges: https://twitter.com/IranIntl_En/status/1560676390105645063
“Destruction of Iran’s centrifuges; Other side wanted Iran to destroy its IR-6 centrifuges but finally agreed Iran keeps the 100 machines in a warehouse under IAEA’s watch”
US to pay a fine if it again withdraws unilaterally from the JCPOA: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/8/19/iran
“The US will have to pay a fine in the event it withdraws from the nuclear agreement again, as it did under the administration of former President Donald Trump in 2018, according to the sources.”
That would be a major concession if the Americans agreed that they should themselves be fined if the violate the deal.
The complete list of alleged US concessions to Iran: https://www.iranintl.com/en/202208191585
In addition to the American concessions, Iran apparently refused to discuss the following issues:
1- Discuss Iran’s missile program in parallel with the JCPOA talks. In fact, this was dropped during the first weeks of the Vienna talks in 2021 when the previous Iranian administration was conducting the negotiations.
2- Discuss Iran’s regional policies and actions, which the US still insists on and might be tied to future talks on lifting the IRGC sanctions – if any such talks take place.
3- Discuss limiting Iran’s nuclear breakout time.
4- Destruction of Iran’s uranium enrichment centrifuges. Bagheri-Kani said that the other side wanted Iran to destroy its IR-6 advanced centrifuges (around 100 machines), but they finally agreed that Iran keeps the machines in a warehouse under IAEA’s watch.
5- Destruction of concrete platforms of for these and possibly other centrifuges.
6- A promise by the two countries’ foreign ministry spokespersons that Iran and the US will not anymore seek to kill citizens of the other side. Iran refused to accept this, even though US law enforcement agencies say the Islamic Republic launched plots to kill former Trump administration officials on US soil.
Again, if Iran for PR purposes wants to frame these as “concessions” — they’re not concessions but part of a process in which each side moves away from maximum demands (and gives incentives to the other side to do so) — that’s OK, as long as we get a deal.
It should also be noted that these provisions are supporting (and sometimes tangential) points. They’re not the central issues in the deal.
Marandi claims the FTO listing was never a deal breaker: https://twitter.com/s_m_marandi/status/1560943007649636352
“I’ve often said over the past few months that removing the Guards from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization list was never a precondition or key demand. Iran will simply keep CENTCOM on its terror list. But if the US needs to say this to sell the deal, that’s their business.”
Reports indicate that the US and EU will permit trade with IRGC-affiliated companies that make up around 10% of Iranian economic activity.
The real deal breakers are the IAEA probe, US guarantees about not withdrawing again, and the verifiable lifting of sanctions.
Yeah, Marandi is revising history — Iran set the condition for delisting early this year. That’s why the talks stalled.
And why is he revising history? Because he’s insisting that only the US changed its position….
March 28: “Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, said the designation matters because it gives the US a pretext to militarily target the group.
‘When the United States and Iran both have a presence [in the Persian Gulf] and the two sides consider the other navy to be a terrorist organization, then are no lines for communication, and that could create major problems,’ he said.”
“Yeah, Marandi is revising history — Iran set the condition for delisting early this year. That’s why the talks stalled.And why is he revising history? Because he’s insisting that only the US changed its position….”
I don’t recall Marandi ever discussing it as a pre-condition.
Iran did want to get the IRGC de-listed, which would be the best solution for allowing the IRGC to trade sanctions-free, but that was not why the talks stalled. The IAEA probe about three allegedly undeclared sites could not be resolved. Then there was the matter of guarantees, both inherent and afforded, which were not agreed. The EU compromise text presented to both parties did more than just cover the issue of the IRGC. At least 6 other issues were in it.
You probably should have read Marandi’s statement to CNN before typing your ignorance, both of what he said and of the situation around Iran’s demand about the IRGC and its effect on the talks in March.
The US is planning to effectively lift sanctions on business transactions with the IRGC despite (officially) keeping it on the FTO list.
“Under the proposed text, Europeans and other non-Americans could conduct business with Iranian entities engaged in “transactions” with the IRGC without fear of triggering U.S. sanctions, as is currently the case, provided their primary business partner was not on a U.S. sanctions registry.“Non-U.S. persons doing business with Iranian persons that are not on the [U.S. sanctions list] will not be exposed to sanctions merely as a result of those Iranian persons engaging in separate transactions involving Iranian persons on the [U.S. sanctions list] (including Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), its officials, or its subsidiaries or affiliates),” the proposal reads.This wording would allow the Europeans to do business very widely across Iran, where commercial interaction with the IRGC is almost inevitable, particularly in terms of trade.”
What does the potential deal look like?
1. According to the unconfirmed reports, some 150 Iranian financial entities and 17 banks will be removed from the sanctions list on the day the agreement is finalised, and Iran will start immediately but gradually rolling back its nuclear advances.
2. Moreover, $7bn worth of Iranian assets frozen by South Korea will be released, while Iran will gain two and a half years of guaranteed US sanctions relief, which equates to a total of five and a half years even if a Republican wins office in 2024, as President Joe Biden has committed to stay in a restored deal.
3. CNN and others have reported that Iran has abandoned its demand to take the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) off a US “terror” list as part of the agreement, instead agreeing to discuss the issue later. (Note: it looks like foreign companies will also not be sanctioned for doing business with the IRGC).
4. Unconfirmed reports also suggest the text of the agreement could contain a clause stipulating that if Iran cooperates with the IAEA, signatories will move to kill an open-ended inquiry into traces of man-made nuclear material found at several Iranian sites in 2019. Ending the inquiry has been a major Iranian demand.
The last point is crucial as closing the probe would allow the deal to succeed until a Republican likely takes over in 2024.
“He lied that Tehran had never insisted on this as a precondition for a deal.”
Iran wanted the US to remove the FTO listing as part of the deal. That is true. But it never set it as a sine qua non precondition. The reason Iran was looking for de-listing was because it could have become a hurdle to trade and investment in Iran whereby foreign companies would be afraid to do business with companies that may have a connection to the IRGC. In the revised text, the US has agreed not to sanction companies. So a compromise has been reached. Also, the US and Iran will have follow-up talks to discuss eventual de-listing.
“But it never set it as a sine qua non precondition.”
Of course, tell yourself that if it makes you feel better.
Good to have eaworldview!
Small typo: “after the withdrawal by the Trump Administration in May 2019”
The Trump Admin withdrew in *May 2018* from the deal.
Apologies for the typo! Fixing….
Hillary Mann Leverett and Mohammad Marandi agree that the US, not Iran, is stalling: https://www.aljazeera.com/program/inside-story/2022/9/11/whats-behind-the-latest-setback-in-the-iran-nuclear-talks
They claim that the Biden administration is reluctant to make an agreement that would jeopardise the Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate in the fall.
Well, yes, since Hillary Mann Leverett and Mohammad Marandi urgently worked together in June 2009 — in the face of the protests of millions of Iranians — to portray a legitimate Presidential election….
They would say this.
Amnesty Says Walls Around Iranian Mass Graves Show Need For Probe
mullahs, just like cats trying to cover their shit are trying to erase their crimes from history. Well, you can’t.
The family of wrongly executed arrested on their way to his second anniversary…
The Farda Briefing: Families Of Prisoners On Death Row Stage Protests Amid Soaring Executions
Barbara Slavin chairs a discussion about the JCPOA and where we go from here: https://twitter.com/AtlanticCouncil/status/1570449332943605761