Commentary from Research Analyst Samuel Hickey was featured in a MED This Week newsletter on the Iran nuclear talks and the consequences of the last-minute requests raised by Russia at this crucial moment of the negotiations.
“Cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is likely to progress — with no major breakthroughs — until all hope for the JCPOA’s revival is lost. Moscow’s last-second demand for guarantees exempting it from Ukraine-related sanctions that would constrain its trade with Iran has thrown a spanner in the gears of the JCPOA talks. Consequently, the United States has given Moscow a week to withdraw its sanctions demands before seeking an alternative arrangement that bypasses Russia. This timeline bumps with the March 20 deadline for Iran to provide written explanations to IAEA queries about undeclared nuclear material. Tehran is unlikely to sink the floundering talks by reneging on the Joint Statement. Still, the IAEA is also flying blind as it is unable to retrieve surveillance data being stored on its cameras at Iran’s nuclear facilities. Retrieving this data and resolving the outstanding safeguards disputes is likely contingent on reviving the nuclear deal.” Read more