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Iran narrowly avoids International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring program deadline

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Iran narrowly avoids International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring program deadline

Photo: Reuters

Iran has accepted an extension of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear monitoring program, which was due to expire today, breathing fresh life into nuclear talks.

Tehran’s decision to prolong the Agency’s mission will likely lead to the deepening of negotiations between the Iran and the US regarding a potential return by Washington to the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

Although talks between Iran and the US have begun to stall, expect negotiations to progress in the medium-term. The Biden administration’s willingness to engage in genuine diplomacy and provide relief for the depleted Iranian economy is likely to bring Tehran to the table. Washington’s decision to lift certain sanctions on Iran’s all-important oil sector following Tehran’s decision to extend the IAEA’s nuclear monitoring mission serves as an important example.

Further Iranian concessions—such as Iran curbing its uranium enrichment—may convince Biden to lift sanctions on other key export sectors, such as shipping and metals. Heightened attacks by Iran-aligned militias in Iraq and Yemen against the US and allies such as Saudi Arabia remain an important risk factor, however, that may cause turbulence in the short- to medium-term.

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