Dr Mike Evans

Iran to return to nuclear talks with US on November 29

The US and Iran intend to restart discussion over the Obama-era nuclear deal on November 29, a State Department official has confirmed.

The Hill reported Wednesday that the delegation to the Vienna talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be led by Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley. Former president Donald Trump removed the US from the agreement in 2018. 

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, said on Twitter that the talks will include all of the JCPOA members.

The Biden administration had increasingly talked about other options if Iran does not return to the negotiating table. During the first meeting between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the two nations joined in solidarity against Iran developing a nuclear weapon.

Bennett continued his focus against Iran’s nuclear development during his recent address to the UN General Assembly. The focus on renewed urgency against Iran’s radical plans has sought to increase attention in the international community regarding efforts to thwart Iran’s nuclear program.

Not all are convinced that Iran’s return to negotiations would be in good faith. Its leaders have long practiced seeking negotiation while acting contrary to the agreement. In addition, Tehran has blocked international inspections of nuclear facilities.

The Biden administration hopes to pick up with Iran where the process left off before the talks ended in 2018. The administration has signaled openness to rolling back certain sanctions as well, though details have not been revealed.

There is also a major difference between a return to nuclear talks and a return to a deal regarding uranium enrichment levels. Iran has agreed to discuss, but has made no commitment concerning its future plans.

Some are concerned the tactic may be used to delay an actual agreement while Tehran continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The extended time between meetings and the enactment of any potential agreements would offer Iran a window of opportunity to continue its uranium enrichment while appearing to work toward a peaceful solution with other nations.