May 28, 2024

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Analyst on Tehran’s Nuclear Game: What Iran Wants for a New Deal

DER SPIEGEL: Is that Tehran’s primary demand?

Hadian: There are four main demands. The second is the snapback mechanism, allowing any signatory to the agreement to request the re-imposition of UN sanctions if Iran “materially fails to comply” with its obligations. Iran is demanding that either a consensus or a majority of the six major powers be required to invoke the mechanism, not just one country. The third concern for Iran is ensuring that the commitments made by Western powers are also monitored by an observing body.

DER SPIEGEL: How might that look in practice?

Hadian: Tehran wants a committee of experts and diplomats to review compliance with the JCPOA agreement in the U.S. and Europe as well. Even when the JCPOA was completely implemented, Iran did not receive the full economic benefits that had been agreed upon.

DER SPIEGEL: And the fourth demand?

Hadian: The fourth issue, which has been discussed among policy circles involved in the nuclear deal in Iran, involves compensation for the damage caused by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions. The government estimates that the sanctions have cost Iran more than $240 billion.

DER SPIEGEL: Who should pay those costs?

Hadian: In Iran, it has been frequently argued that, while Iran fulfilled its part of the deal, the U.S. completely ignored its obligations and walked out of the agreement, putting the Europeans in a position where they, too, had to disregard their JCPOA obligations. There are some other technical issues, which, for reasons of simplicity, don’t need to be discussed here.

DER SPIEGEL: How realistic do the Iranians actually think their demands are? In August 2022, talks collapsed because the demands were unacceptable for Europe and the U.S.

Hadian: The Iranian negotiators know that the Biden administration may not be able to pay Iran directly, due to domestic political considerations. Compensation could come in the form of credit lines or other tangible economic benefits. France and Japan have also made proposals centered on investing tens of billions in Iran.
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