Iran’s top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei defended the return to the nuclear deal on condition that the United States take the first step and lift economic sanctions. For its part, the Biden government wants the initiative to leave Tehran and the Iranian authorities in order to stop enriching uranium beyond the limits agreed in 2015.
In contrast to the Iranian government, which in recent months, particularly after the election of Joe Biden, has shown openness to re-establishing the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (JCPOA) signed by the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Russia in 2015 . China and Germany with Iran – the Ayatollah’s position has so far been inflexible.
However, this Sunday, after meeting with Air Force commanders, Khamenei gave signs that he might give in a little in his intransigence and defined the line Tehran will follow in the Iron Wing with Washington in the coming weeks.
“Iran has fulfilled its obligations under the agreement in contrast to the USA or European countries. In practice, if they want Iran to resume its commitments, the United States must lift all sanctions, ”said Khamenei, quoted on Iranian state television.
“After verifying that all sanctions have been properly lifted, we will return to full compliance. It is an irreversible and final decision and all the Iranian authorities are in agreement, ”announced the Iranian Supreme Leader.
In 2015, in return for lifting economic sanctions, Iran pledged to curb its nuclear program – which guarantees that it is for energy purposes only and never aims to develop an atomic bomb – in order to allow international authorities to control its power plants the uranium enrichment levels.
In 2018, the then President of the United States, Donald Trump, decided to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement and gradually imposed new sanctions on Tehran, which increased uranium production and consequently violated the agreement.
The murder of the Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was named the brains of the Iranian nuclear program last November, in an attack Tehran attributed to Israel was the final straw and prompted the Iranian authorities to issue orders for uranium enrichment on 20 in early January % – well below the 90% needed to develop a nuclear weapon, but well above the 3.67% limit set in the 2015 agreement.
Pressure on Biden
Relations between the United States and Iran reached their lowest point during the Trump administration, and the election of Joe Biden brought some hope of bringing the two countries closer together.
However, the clock is running down so it is still possible to save the JCPOA as the Iranian parliament passed a law stating that if US sanctions fail by, Tehran will not only expel the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency February 21 will be canceled to further increase its uranium production capacity.
Furthermore, Iran has parliamentary elections in June and the next few months will therefore be marked by election campaigns, with rhetoric against the United States increasing and ultimately the more conservative and radical wing defeating what is currently the most moderate wing in the government of President Hassan Rouhani.
“The Americans are running out of time, both because of the law passed in parliament and because of the electoral atmosphere that will follow the Iranian New Year [que começa a 21 de Março]Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned in an interview with the Iranian newspaper Hamshahri published on Saturday.
“The more America hesitates, the more it will lose. It seems that the Biden administration does not want to get rid of Trump’s failed legacy, ”Zarif pressed, reiterating that the ball is on the side of the United States.
Although it has already shown a willingness to reach an agreement with Iran, the Biden government does not intend to give up and has argued that Tehran should take the initiative without enriching uranium as a condition for lifting sanctions.
On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken took part in a phone call with his French, German and British colleagues and a common approach towards Iran was discussed.
Europe has defended the urgency for a swift resumption of the nuclear deal, a US-sponsored cause that continues to persuade Iran to curtail its ballistic missile program, a hypothesis that has been ruled out by the center-lean regime East wants to lose, where he denies hegemony with Saudi Arabia.