Sunday, 12 July, 2020

Iran-G5+1: 7th Round of Talks in New York

By: Parvin Negin Raz

The 7th round of talks, on Iran’s nuclear issue, between Iran and G5+1 countries was held in New York on September on the threshold of UN General Assembly meeting. Due to significant differences between the two sides in comprehensive agreement left a week of bilateral and multilateral talks with little progress.The two main gaps which still have remained unbridged after seven rounds of talks are enrichment scale and speed of lifting sanctions. In this article, I will discuss this two issues as well as ISIS and mistrust effects on the negotiations.

Enrichment

From Iran’s perspective, enrichment is a technical and legal issue, whereas for six powers, enrichment is an element in balance of power. The scope of Iran’s uranium enrichment program has been so controversial during the talks. According to JPOA reached in Geneva, Iran’s program should be “consistent with practical needs.” Both sides of the agreement intentionally left this part ambiguous to discuss on it later for the comprehensive agreement, but till now, they failed to reach a consensus on definition of this sentence. Iran insists on retaining some of its uranium enrichment capacity as his unalienable rights based on NPT, while US and the other 5 countries do not believe that Iran needs to enrich uranium itself; in the other word, they want Iran to curb nearly all its uranium enrichment capacities which Iran has regarded it as unreasonable

As Associated Press reported, in this round of talks, new proposals have been offered that “would leave much of Iranian enriching machines in place but disconnected from feeds of uranium”. Analysts say these proposals may convince US to modify its demands on decreasing the number of Iran’s centrifuges.

Sanctions

Six powers agreed to ease their unilateral sanctions immediately after a comprehensive agreement has been reached. Regarding UN sanctions, they agreed to ease them gradually, depending on Iran’s compliance with the agreement; however, Iran is suspicious about the gradual lifting of UN sanctions and sees it as a loophole for the Western countries to break their commitments.

European court has lifted Iran’s Central Bank sanction, as well as sanctions imposed to The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), Moellem Insurance Company, Sina Bank, Sorinet Holding (Mr Zanjani), and Sharif University of Technology in recent days. By lifting these sanctions, EU countries try to satisfy Iran to accept their proposals.

ISIS

Some think that Iran’s negotiating team in New York has followed a “give and take” strategy. They will cooperate with the coalition to fight ISIS and instead, some concessions, in nuclear talks, should be granted to Iran. The claim has totally rejected by Iranian officials. This rumor was circulated after Kerry and Zarif met each other at Waldorf Astoria. It seems that by spreading this rumor, the Western countries, especially US, are seeking legitimacy for their anti-ISIS campaign from the Iranian side. With respect to Supreme Leader’s quotes on rejecting US request to join anti-ISIS coalition, this claim is not logical.

Mistrust

Some analysts believe that mistrust between the two sides is the main reason why they cannot come to conclusion. Although the latest IAEA report showed Iran’s full compliance with the interim agreement in spite of imposing more sanctions on the Iranian companies and individuals, but Iran has done everything to prove its goodwill. Now, it is the time for the West to show their tendency to solve the ten- year-dispute.

According to IAEA report, Iran is fully compliant with JPOA, has stopped producing 20% enriched Uranium, refrained from installing more centrifuges, halted the work of Arak heavy reactor, and turned produced 3.5% enriched UF6 to Uranium Oxide, etc.

Despite all difficulties and deadlock in the negotiations, Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, is hopeful that comprehensive agreement would be made at the appointed time (namely on Nov. 24th). He said in an interview with the press: “time is short but issues are not that difficult to resolve.” Iranian negotiating team has always been so optimist about the final deal especially during one year of shuttling diplomacy. Significant steps are needed to make a comprehensive agreement and these should especially be taken by six powers that their move toward an agreement was so slow since the start of the talks.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Acuerdo nuclear fortalece a Irán como actor político internacional

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