02/19/2021, 10.41
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Washington reopens nuclear talks with Tehran

Green light to European mediation for a meeting that brings together the world powers and Iran on the JCPOA. According to a senior EU diplomat it is a "critical moment" and the opportunities for dialogue must be grasped. Biden eases travel restrictions for Iranian diplomats at the UN and blocks his predecessor's efforts on UN sanctions.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States has given the green light to talks that also involve Tehran and the world powers, with the aim of relaunching the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA) dissolved by Donald Trump..

In recent weeks, there have been repeated appeals to the Islamic Republic with the aim of reopening the negotiating table to limit the ayatollahs' nuclear program in exchange for the reduction of international punitive measures, with the role of mediator entrusted to Europe.

The new administration led by Democrat Joe Biden has expressed the desire to restart dialogue with its Iranian counterpart. Yesterday the White House promised to engage with Tehran to rebuild the agreement and State Department spokesman Ned Price added that the US has accepted the EU invitation to meet with Iran.

This is a turning point after years of stark opposition, seasoned with threats, sanctions and guerrilla actions, so much so that one of the European negotiators, Enrique Mora, speaks of a "critical moment" to relaunch the JCPOA.

So far there have been no official responses from Iran, but the moderate government front led by President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif could welcome the opening, despite a superficial lack of interest shown most recently.

Since Trump's electoral defeat in November, the Rouhani and Zarif duo have promoted intense diplomatic work to restore the agreement and ease punitive measures.

In May 2018, outgoing US President Donald Trump ordered the United States pull out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),​​ signed by his predecessor Barack Obama in 2015, despite the opposition of the international community. 

Trump followed the withdrawal by imposing the toughest sanctions in history against Iran. The decision has negatively impacted the Iranian economy as noted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Covid 19 emergency only worsened the situation for the population. In response, Tehran threatened to resume uranium enrichment for civilian purposes and has already surpassed uranium reserves.

Analysts and experts underline that the green light for the talks from Washington is the first, substantial step between the two nations in a perspective of dialogue and diplomacy after dark years. The goal is to agree on a meeting, organized by the European Union which has the role of mediator, to end the impasse over who should take the first step between the US and Iran.

In a further sign of good faith, the Biden administration eased severe travel restrictions for UN-accredited Iranian diplomats and overturned Trump's efforts to restore all sanctions adopted by the United Nations against the Islamic Republic.

Still on the subject of US sanctions, however, the White House is waiting for of a signal of openness from the Iranian counterpart, starting with the response to the official invitation to the negotiating table before the revocation (or relaxation) of these measures.

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