Arrival of Iranian deadline for the US to ease sanctions

Today marks Iran’s parliamentary deadline for the US to ease sanctions. In December, the Iranian parliament passed legislation requiring the

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Photo: Andreas Gerber/Reuters

Today marks Iran’s parliamentary deadline for the US to ease sanctions.

In December, the Iranian parliament passed legislation requiring the government to restrict UN inspections of its nuclear program should the US fail to reduce its sanctions to the level agreed upon in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Signed in 2015, the deal offered a reduction in US sanctions in exchange for a rollback of the Iranian nuclear program. Washington has argued that sanctions will only be eased if Tehran returns to strict compliance with the agreement.

Observers hope that recently announced EU-hosted bilateral talks will help ease tensions. While the meeting marks an important step toward the re-establishment of a deal, analysts believe the announcement of the meeting is unlikely to prevent Iran from restricting UN inspections. The current Iranian leadership has expressed a desire to return to the JCPOA, though the upcoming Iranian presidential elections could change that. Recent polls show former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holding a considerable lead over all other likely candidates among potential voters. If re-elected, Ahmadinejad is expected to take a hardline stance against any agreement with the US, likely stalling or breaking off any ongoing negotiations and dooming the JCPOA.

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