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Can EU save Iran nuclear deal?

Saeed Pourreza
Press TV, London

Iran has said the EU can mediate to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal by coordinating actions needed to be taken by Tehran and Washington.

It’s being described as a Mexican-standoff with either side waiting for the other to blink first. 

But let’s see who did what and when? Broadly, in May 2018, former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the nuclear deal and launched what’s became known as the maximum pressure campaign. A year later, and in the absence of substantive action on the part of the European signatories to the agreement, Tehran started reducing its commitments to the accord.

Given everything that happened between the two countries in the past four years of Trump, is the deal still worth the paper it’s written on?

And Iran has offered a solution to the impasse: Get the Europeans involved. The man to get things running: EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrel.

But the Americans aren’t only seeking Iran’s return to full compliance. President Biden has spoken of follow-on negotiations, of a longer and stronger deal. Would Tehran take it?

Iran’s foreign minister has warned that the US does not have “unlimited” time to return to the deal. And he’s right. The Islamic Republic is holding presidential elections in June when power could change hands.

Not only that, Tehran is demanding the US make up for its wrongdoings, and to put an end to multi-billion dollar weapons sales to Persian Gulf dictatorships. 

The path forward seems to be clear. The ball is now in the Biden administration’s court to give diplomacy a second chance and Europe can make sure that happens.

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