Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Obstacles on the Path to Completing the Iranian Nuclear Deal with the West

Wednesday 07/June/2023 - 09:07 PM
The Reference
Mohamed Shaath

After a period of stagnation in the Iranian nuclear deal with the West, the file is currently witnessing movement amidst mutual statements between Tehran and Washington, and discussions about Iranian compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

One of the most prominent issues between the two parties is Iran's demand for the closure of the investigations conducted by the IAEA regarding "undeclared sites," a demand that the agency rejected at the time. Additionally, Tehran has called on Washington to provide guarantees of not withdrawing from the nuclear deal, as the previous administration of President Donald Trump did, a demand that Washington did not respond to.

Notable Progress

The latest report from the IAEA provides positive signals that progress can be made in the understanding between the agency and Iran. The agency praised the process of reinstalling surveillance cameras at Iranian nuclear sites, stating that the reinstallation of cameras was crucial for monitoring nuclear activities. However, IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi announced that the agency aimed for more than just the reinstallation of surveillance cameras at several Iranian nuclear sites.

Regarding the contentious issue that was an obstacle to completing the agreement, namely the "undeclared sites," the Atomic Energy Agency stated in a statement, "We have received responses from Iran regarding the secret nuclear sites, and we are verifying them."

Iranian Responses

This may be the first time the agency has publicly announced that it has received responses and feedback from the Iranian side, as it had previously accused Iran of not providing answers.

At the same time, there seems to be a noticeable change in Iran's rhetoric towards the IAEA, as an official stated that the International Atomic Energy Agency's report proves that Tehran always prefers to cooperate with the agency. He emphasized that resolving some outstanding issues and closing some claims would be in favor of both parties. The Iranian official also pointed out that some monitoring and inspection operations are subject to the suspended nuclear agreement due to Washington's policies, reaffirming that Iran's cooperation with the IAEA continues within the framework of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. He expressed readiness to halt the policy of reducing compliance with the nuclear deal, provided that others commit to the agreement. He also emphasized that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, and Tehran does not seek to possess nuclear weapons, and its cooperation with the agency practically proves that.

The Progress of Iranian nuclear activities poses a threat to Israel, which may hinder Washington from taking any steps towards completing the nuclear deal, as confirmed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who stated that "Iran remains the biggest threat to Israel and cannot possess a nuclear weapon," adding that all options are on the table to prevent that.

The European position remains linked to the position of the United States, as despite the statements by the Iranian negotiating team's advisor, Mohammad Marnadi, that the nuclear deal is ready and awaiting the Europeans' signature, the recent sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard indicate that the path to an agreement is not smooth, especially in light of the Iranian-Russian rapprochement.