World, Iran, Joe Biden, Jcpoa

World, Iran

Iran deal averts crisis but Tehran maintains red lines for Joe Biden talks

Iran deal averts crisis but Tehran maintains red lines for Joe Biden talks

2/22/2021 10:40:00 PM

Iran deal averts crisis but Tehran maintains red lines for Joe Biden talks

Officials have agreed to maintain access for atomic energy inspectors, but Iran 's standoff with the U.S. president over the nuclear deal continues.

Sunday's IAEA deal offers a sliver of hope for JCPOA advocates if it survives parliamentary opposition. So does the U.S. State Department announcement last week that—having met with representatives from JCPOA signatories Germany, France and the U.K.—the U.S. is now ready for multilateral talks on how to revive the deal.

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Even as a deal was being reached this weekend, Iranian leaders were sticking to their red lines, refusing to scale back nuclear activity and dismissing any suggestion that future talks would broaden the JCPOA to curb Tehran's ballistic missile program and use of regional militias.

Biden and his top officials have said they want to use the agreement as a foundation for a"longer and stronger" deal. Conservatives argue that the current deal is inadequate in only addressing Iran's nuclear program. Even then, they warn that its"sunset clause"—the expiration of restrictions in 2025—mean the accord is short-sighted.

Iran's Assembly of Experts—the panel of clerics that picks the country's next supreme leader—said on Monday the JCPOA was a"red line" that Tehran will not cross. The group also said that any return to the agreement without sanctions relief would be detrimental to the country, the Tasnim News Agency reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Monday that the IAEA deal was no concession to the U.S."All the agreements made are within the framework of the law approved by the Iranian parliament," Khatibzadeh said at his weekly press conference, according to the Mehr News Agency.

"The way to return to the deal is clear. They must first fulfil their obligations under JCPOA, and then they must remove those traps, i.e. sanctions," Khatibzadeh added.Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told the state-run Press TV on Sunday that for all President Biden's talk of a diplomatic thaw with Iran, nothing has changed since he took office."Biden claims that Trump's policy of maximum pressure was maximum failure," Zarif said."But for all practical purposes, they are pursuing the same policy."

Zarif said the Iranian's parliament's"remedial measures" were not a violation of the JCPOA. These steps, he said, would be reversed if Biden and the U.S. fulfilled their commitments under the accord."As the offending side, US must take corrective measures," Zarif

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wrote on Twitteron Sunday."Commit to JCPOA...effectively fulfil obligations," he added.Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, meets with Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Tehran on February 21. Read more: Newsweek »

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