A host of foreign countries have expressed their desire to reignite the Iran Nuclear Deal when U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn into office.
The foreign ministers of Iran, France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China – the signatory countries of the Iran Nuclear Deal in 2015, minus the United States – met via video call early last week to express their mutual commitment on getting the entire deal back up, once US president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.
Biden has made clear his intentions on returning to the deal and lifting sanctions, however he has manifested that some additional amendments might be needed, more specifically in relation to Iran’s on-going missile program, as well as its influence in the region.
As much as this has been supported by the other signatories, Iranian officials claimed that Iran is willing to continue with the deal as it was agreed upon back in 2015, without any further changes or deviations from the nuclear topic.
Since the Trump administration pulled out of the deal in 2018 and slapped the country with crippling sanctions, Iran has reduced its commitments to the terms of the deal. Today, Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is at 2.4 tonnes, twelve times higher than the cap imposed by the agreement – but still significantly below the 8 tonnes pre-deal.
As a consequence of these sanctions, Iran has been suffering economically, losing billions of dollars of foreign investment. The economic pressure drove fundamentalist hard liners in parliament, who never wished to be a part of the nuclear deal in the first place, to pass a law that would further restore Iran’s nuclear program if the country doesn’t see, by early February, the economic rewards promised by the deal. These advancements in the program would include increasing enriched uranium stockpiles, building up to 1000 top-of-the-line centrifuges and the expulsion of UN nuclear inspectors.
Both, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and president, Hassan Rouhani, have said that Iran will begin complying to the agreement as soon as the United States lifts sanctions. How and when this will happen, remains to be seen.