After two rounds of consultations between Iran and the European Union (EU) preceded by a long hiatus, both sides announced they will reconvene the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Nov. 29. Before the announcement, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian indicated in a press conference that talks would resume at the end of this month, possibly from a different starting point than the previous round back in June, in order to avoid the “the point of deadlock in the Vienna negotiations.” However, Amir-Abdollahian accepted the existing format of the talks.
Whereas the resumption of the dialogue in the Austrian capital has been welcomed by all JCPOA signatories and the United States, senior Iranian officials’ exceedingly maximalist demands, highlighted by a recent Press TV article detailing Tehran’s new policy towards the revived talks, have conveyed that there are difficult days ahead. The indirect Iran-US negotiations are geared to reach a meaningful understanding of how to re-comply with the JCPOA, but failure is still believed to be a possible outcome.
The Europeans originally viewed the JCPOA as their legacy in a multilateral world. They perceived their efforts to help conclude the nuclear deal in July 2015 and then salvage it after the US unilateral exit in May 2018 as having decisively contributed towards the resolution of the broader global nonproliferation crisis. Additionally, Europe views the Iran nuclear deal as key to avoiding a regional nuclear arms race— though given its uranium enrichment capabilities, Tehran could choose to effectively remain a “nuclear latent state” in no rush to ever actually develop atomic weapons...
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