There were a few weeks, in the summer, when it seemed like everything was about to happen. Of the meetings in Vienna between the delegations of Iranian, European and American negotiationgood words came out above all, that there was little left, some fringes to be touched up, minor issues and that the revival of the nuclear deal with Iranbroken in 2018 by the previous US president, Donald Trump, was only a matter of days or even hours.
But it never happened. Iran pressed with its demands; The West did not want to listen to them, and the negotiations took a while. Now, however, this time has become indefinite. The reasons are mainly two: the wave of protests since mid-September in Iran and the sale of Persian drones and missiles to Russia for Moscow to use in the war against Ukraine.
Never, since the talks to revive the nuclear pact were resumed, have the positions have been so far apart. “I would be very surprised if in these circumstances some kind of agreement was signed in the coming months. Although I think that The US hasn’t thrown in the towel yet. with achieving it in the future, because reviving the agreement was an electoral commitment by (Joe) Biden,” explains Javier Gil Guerrero, a professor at the University of Navarra.
Maley, key figure
“We do not see that an agreement can be reached in the near future,” said the White House press secretary, Karine Jean Pierre, this week, who later qualified: “But the door to diplomacy will always be open“.
According to Gil, the door will remain open as long as Robert Maley, who led the negotiations with Iran in 2015 to sign the first nuclear agreement, continues in the Biden Administration. “Maley is tremendously in favor of reaching the agreement. As long as he does not resign, this will be a sign that the US intention is still there. So the agreement may be in a coma now, but it can still be revived,” says Gil.
“It’s a shame because we were very very close. But now I don’t expect no movement [para revivir el acuerdo]”, assured this week the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.
a multipolar world
Now, with protests sweeping Iran and its government selling drones and ballistic missiles to Moscow, a relaunch of negotiations is expected. impossible for a West that wants to distance itself with the Islamic Republic.
However, Gil explains, who got up from the table first was Tehran. “I think that the one who has thrown in the towel is Iran, which seems to have convinced itself that we are heading towards a multipolar world, and that relations with Europe and the US are no longer so important. What con China and Russia have a sufficient alternative without needing the West”, explains the academic, who continues: “And there is another factor: I think there is a Russian infiltration in Iran. Talking to colleagues and academics there, there’s a lot of talk about how Russia has many people within the institutions of the country and the upper hand within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.” The Revolutionary Guard is an elite corps within the Iranian armed forces that controls a large part of the Persian country’s economy. The function of the Revolutionary Guard, which only accountable to the supreme leader, is to protect Iran’s political system: the Islamic Republic.
This body, for example, has been in charge of carrying out the government repression against the current wave of protests, which began a month ago over the death at the hands of the moral police of a young woman in Tehran.
the nuclear weapon
“We really believe that we need to prevent the iranian regime from getting the nuclear weapon. And we believe that diplomacy is the way to achieve this. We will see if your current government is really interested in reaching an agreement. But at this point, the focus has to be on what is happening in Iran, [las protestas]because the talks have run aground,” Maley said a few weeks ago in an interview on CNN television. Tehran, in fact, blames Washington for being behind the demonstrationsand mistrust between the two governments is increasing.
“Trump did a lot of damage,” Gil considers. “In Iran there is the idea that United States is not a trustworthy country, that what is the use of signing an agreement with the Democrats so that then the Republicans win again and break it again. Given this, Iran seems to have bet on getting closer to China and Russia, with this conviction, I think wrong, that the world is now multipolar. The world has not yet reached this multipolarity.”