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Iranian Officials Demand Payment if U.S. Pulls Out of Nuclear Agreement Again

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, leaves the Palais Coburg, the venue where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, this month.Credit...Lisa Leutner/Reuters
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, leaves the Palais Coburg, the venue where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, this month.Credit…Lisa Leutner/Reuters

As American and European officials attempt to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran in another round of negotiations, Tehran is seeking guarantees that it will receive compensation if a future United States president revokes the pact, according to regional diplomats. This development comes as Iran has issued a series of threats against U.S. officials and has continued enriching its uranium stockpile to a weapons-grade level.

Last week, European officials sent the U.S. and Iran what it called the “final text” of a revived nuclear agreement to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, stating that such an agreement would not be up for debate. Iranian officials Monday responded to the proposal in writing, adhering to the deadline set by the Western bloc, stating that an agreement was closer than ever but not yet done.

However, according to reports, Iran has had reservations about the possibility of a future U.S. president pulling out of the new nuclear deal and placing new economic sanctions on the country, similar to what former President Donald Trump and Secretary Mike Pompeo did in 2018 by leaving the accord and imposing a maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic regime. While Western officials continue to bring views closer over issues regarding indirect sanctions on Iran companies, officials like Mohammad Marandi continue to highlight the need for compensation for a future exit.

Currently, negotiations between the U.S. and Iran are negotiated by Qatar and the E.U., with Qatari officials traveling to Tehran for meetings. U.S. officials have called on Iran to drop what it describes as “extraneous” demands that go beyond the 2015 nuclear agreement’s purview, namely about an earlier request by Tehran demanding the U.S. remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list.

American officials have also called on Iran to cease its assassination campaign against former Trump administration officials including Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and former President Trump, if the regime hopes to have economic sanctions lifted from the agreement. Iran’s foreign minister stated that Tehran was ready to conclude these talks and announce a final contract if the West accepted its views. With the 2022 midterms coming up soon, Republicans in the House and Senate are vowing to do everything within their power to prevent such an agreement from being official.

Under the Biden administration, the Islamic Republic has continued to violate the agreements from the 2015 nuclear agreement, enriching its uranium stockpile to weapons-grade levels and expanding its underground centrifuge production in places like Natanz, Isfahan, and other parts of the country. Iran has also removed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA)’s monitoring cameras in nuclear facilities, receiving condemnation from the organization’s Board of Governors.

The current Iran President Ebrahim Raisi has had his security forces suppress Iranian citizens protesting the regime and the lack of political and human rights. The IRGC has been active in recent months, continuing to prop up proxies in the Middle East like the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Biden administration is hoping it can get a deal before the 2022 November midterms, spending enormous amounts of time and effort on talks with Iranian officials. State Department officials and the Secretary of State are currently walking a tight line with Iran by not condemning the regime harshly over its terrorist activities and assassination attempts on American officials in the U.S.

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