President Joe Biden’s young administration is really hitting its stride lately. And on Tuesday, his emissaries of peace made a major leap forward not only for the security of the United States but the entire planet too.
The New York Times has reported that representatives from America and the Islamic Republic of Iran that are meeting in Vienna, Austria are very close to an agreement to renew the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal – two years after Trump pulled the US out of the international accord.
“All parties agreed to establish one working group to focus on how to get the United States back to the deal by lifting harsh economic sanctions imposed or reimposed,” according to the Times. “The other working group will focus on how to get Iran back into compliance with the accord’s limitations on nuclear enrichment and stockpiles of enriched uranium.”
They really are down to the wire, and although parties from all sides are optimistic, there are still some major hurdles that must be overcome.
“United States officials now estimate that Iran’s ‘breakout time’ — the time necessary to assemble enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon — is now down to a few months,” however, “Iranian officials say they can return to compliance fairly quickly, but insist they want the United States to lift sanctions first. Washington wants Iran to return to compliance first,” the Times noted.
The talks are a “healthy step forward,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday, cautioning that “we don’t anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough, as these discussions, we fully expect, will be difficult.”
Lifting of strict sanctions would be “the first and most necessary step in reviving the J.C.P.O.A. The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully ready to stop its retaliation nuclear activity and return to its full commitments as soon as U.S. sanctions are lifted and verified,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Aragchi said in a statement on Iranian television. “I can say over all that it was a constructive meeting.”
Meanwhile, the commission’s coordinator, Enrique Mora of the European Union, said on Tuesday that discussions have so far been “constructive.”
He added that “there’s unity and ambition for a joint diplomatic process with two expert groups on nuclear implementation and sanctions lifting” and vowed to “intensify separate contacts here in Vienna with all relevant parties, including the U.S.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.