Fruitful Revival

US withdrawal from the P5+1 Deal under Trump compelled Iran to resort to a more aggressive posture. Revival efforts of the Deal could also end in a stalemate.

By Amjad Ali | April 2021


The Biden administration has indicated the revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with additional demands as pre-conditions to be complied with by Iran before re-negotiation of the deal. These conditions may render the deal next to impossible and it could end up in a stalemate.

Former US president Donald Trump walked out of the 2015 landmark deal that was inked after a strenuous process known as P5+1, and which was aimed to prevent or at least slow down nuclear weapons acquisition by Iran as well as provide economic relief in return for its compliance with the agreement. The Trump administration considered the accord as flawed.

Despite the fact that Iran was compliant with the deal as testified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and EU signatories to the deal, the US withdrawal compelled Iran to resort to a more aggressive posture. The White House reinstated a series of crippling sanctions with a view to putting maximum pressure on Iran. In consequence, Tehran ramped up its nuclear enrichment programme beyond the permissible 5 percent limit and increased it up to 20 percent in violation of the JCOPA and the development of ballistic missiles. Moreover, it also temporarily suspended the IAEA inspections.

kali-robinsonPresident Biden, during his presidential race, committed to revive the JCOPA. After assuming power, his administration has insisted on Iran’s compliance with the agreement before renegotiations, while Tehran has emphasised that this advance will be made once sanctions are lifted. Hence, it is a game of political brinkmanship that may spiral out of control.

Besides, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken has recently stated that Iran may acquire nuclear weapons in a matter of weeks. He has also emphasised the requirement to involve regional issues as part of the agenda linked to the revival negotiations of JCPOA. However, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has urged for lifting of sanctions and disagreement to include the regional issues.

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