Iran talks set to resume next week

Iran nuclear deal: agreement in Vienna. From left to right: Foreign ministers/secretaries of state Wang Yi (China), Laurent Fabius (France), Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Germany), Federica Mogherini (EU), Mohammad Javad Zarif (Iran), Philip Hammond (UK), John Kerry (USA).

The Chinese envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, Wang Qun, stated that all sides of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, had agreed to reconvene next week to further work on bringing Iran and The United States of America back to the nuclear deal.

Wang Qun spoke to reporters after a meeting with all the deal’s participants following a week of discussions, and was optimistic about the deal, stating that talks were going in the right direction.

What is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)?

The JCPOA is a landmark nuclear agreement originally reached between Iran and the P5+1 (The United States of America, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom, and Germany). It dealt with Iran’s nuclear program, primarily by reducing Iran’s nuclear stockpile by around 97%, and also dealt with removing sanctions placed on Iran. The main aim was to ensure that if Iran ever were to make a nuclear weapon, it would take them at least one year, thus giving nations time to respond to it.

Iran, on the other hand, wanted to ensure that the international sanctions that were starving its economy by 100s of billions of dollars were removed. The deal was reached in July 2014 in Vienna, Italy.

However, in 2017, US President Donald Trump infamously criticized the agreement, stating that Iran had “violated the spirit of the deal” and had called upon the US Congress and international partners to “address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons”.

In 2018, the US officially withdrew from the agreement, which led to a significant drop in Iran’s currency. There were widespread protests against this, with the American flag being set on fire in Iran’s parliament.

Lawmakers in Iran set fire to a US flag

Even though the US withdrew from the deal, in 2020, President Trump and the then Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, stated that the US remained a participant in the deal despite having officially withdrawn in 2018.

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