Amid a tense atmosphere and expectations that there will be no breakthrough in the convergence of views, a new round of international negotiations on reviving the Iranian nuclear agreement was launched in the Austrian capital Vienna, on Monday, after 5 months of suspension.
The gap in positions between Washington and Tehran still casts a shadow throughout the Iranian nuclear negotiations in Vienna, which are related to the Iranian nuclear program and the enrichment-for-sanctions agreement.
Meanwhile, the tension between the two parties, in general, is escalating, due to several political differences, most notably Iran’s ballistic missile program, in addition to Tehran’s regional policies and support for armed groups and its relations with Israel.
In 2015, the administration of former US President Barack Obama reached an agreement with Iran, providing for stopping its nuclear activities related to the production of an atomic bomb, in exchange for the lifting of sanctions imposed on it.
After 3 years, his successor, President Donald Trump, decided to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear agreement, believing that it was “unfair.” It is in Tehran’s interest.” He reimposed severe sanctions, which had major repercussions on the Iranian economy.
But the new Democratic administration of US President Joe Biden seeks to revive the previous agreement.
Iran requires the current talks to lift sanctions before reaching any new agreement, at a time when the US insists on stopping uranium enrichment, in light of the increase in international reports, including those issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency, regarding violations of the Iranian nuclear program by increasing the pace of uranium enrichment.
Ballistic missiles, armed groups hinder Iranian nuclear agreement
The new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi has indicated on several occasions since he came to power in early August his desire to revive the previous nuclear agreement, but at the same time, he denied the possibility of any negotiations on his country’s ballistic missile program.
Perhaps the most prominent point of contention between the US and Iran is the latter’s support for armed groups in many countries in the region, especially in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.