Trump’s shadow hangs over last-ditch efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal

For Iran to sign up to the renewed deal, Marandi said, the IAEA’s condemnation must be “closed once and for all.”

Iran dismissed the IAEA move as “politicized” and responded by removing surveillance cameras at key sites – a move that deprived negotiators of up-to-date information on the country’s uranium enrichment program and dashed hopes of striking. Agreement.

So, when negotiators returned to Vienna last week, observers were surprised. Tehran’s protected approval of the latest draft deal raises the prospect of an imminent return to the deal despite remaining hurdles. Even the country’s hardliners have fiercely opposed the accord since then-President Hassan Rouhani’s government and the Obama administration signed it in 2015 – hailing the draft as an improvement over previous versions.

Iran has continued to drag its feet since the Biden administration resumed talks to restore the deal nearly a year and a half ago. One reason, Iranian analysts argue, is because of the influence wielded by one man absent from the talks: Trump. Analysts argue that Iran has advanced negotiations over the possible victory of Trump or a Republican candidate aligned with Trump himself in the 2024 US presidential election. Biden’s successor, according to Iran’s calculus, will once again withdraw from the deal, unleashing a new wave of sanctions on the country.

“Trump’s shadow has loomed over these talks as Iran has focused more on securing economic guarantees over the past year,” said Mohammad Ali Shabani, editor of London-based outlet In Iran, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.

“If the U.S. secondary sanctions come back like we saw when Trump left the deal and all the major Western private sector companies ran and never looked back, how do you prevent that?” Shabani said. “What kind of procedures can you put in place to prevent this from happening again?”

Secondary sanctions are a US mechanism that penalizes any government or organization that has financial dealings with sanctioned entities.

In a development that threatens to add another obstacle to talks, the US Justice Department on Tuesday announced criminal charges against members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps for trying to plan the assassination of John Bolton, who served in senior national security posts during the Trump administration. and the Bush administrations.

Still, the Iranians have a lot to gain, even in the short term, by re-entering the deal.

Shabani said sanctions relief could free up tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenue over the next two years, boosting Iran’s economy and boosting the popularity of Iran’s hardline president, Ibrahim Raisi.

Conversely, there is much at stake for the international community if negotiations continue to falter. Since Trump pulled out of the talks and began an aggressive sanctions regime in May 2018, Tehran has enriched uranium at high levels and at an increasing pace. The UN nuclear watchdog said in June that Iran was weeks away from having “significant amounts of enriched uranium”, but added that it “does not mean having a bomb”.

Moreover, time is of the essence as the length of negotiations complicates negotiations. Earlier this year, Iran’s demand to remove its Revolutionary Guards from the US terrorist list is believed to be the final obstacle to reviving the deal. Now that issue appears to be off the table. But progress on Iran’s uranium enrichment program has thrown another wrench in the wheels, leading to Tehran’s IAEA condemnation.

Iran accuses the West of trying to weaponize the IAEA condemnation, using it as a legal pretext to get out of a future deal. Marandi told CNN that the motion to rescind is a prerequisite for reviving the deal.

“Otherwise the Iranians will no doubt take advantage of the Americans, or use it as a tool to undermine the deal within weeks or months at most. This is a prerequisite for the implementation of the deal,” Marandi told CNN.

Still, there’s reason for some optimism, and even kicking the can down the road may have its benefits.

Shabani argued that an imminent return to the agreement would “give breathing space to both sides” even if the deal is scrapped again in 2025.

“The US will keep the nuclear genie in the bottle for three years and then face it again in 2025,” Shabani said.


Russia put an Iranian satellite into orbit

Russia launched an Iranian satellite into orbit from southern Kazakhstan on Tuesday, just three weeks after President Vladimir Putin and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to work together against the West, Reuters reported. The Russian space agency said the satellite successfully entered orbit.

  • Background: Tehran rejected claims that Moscow could use the satellite to boost its intelligence capabilities in Ukraine, saying Iran would have full control and operation over it “from day one.” Iran said the satellite was designed for scientific research, including radiation and environmental monitoring for agricultural purposes.
  • Why it matters: The Washington Post reported last week that US officials have raised concerns about space cooperation between Russia and Iran, saying the satellite would not only help Russia in Ukraine but also provide Iran with “unprecedented capabilities” to monitor potential military targets in Israel and the wider Middle East. Eastern In July, Putin visited Iran in his first international trip outside the former Soviet Union since the start of Russian military operations in Ukraine.

Ex-Twitter employee convicted in Saudi Arabia spying case

A former Twitter manager accused of spying for Saudi Arabia was found guilty on Tuesday of six criminal counts, including acting as an agent of the country and attempting to conceal payments from an official linked to the Saudi royal family, Reuters reported.

  • Background: Ahmed Aboummo, a dual US-Lebanese citizen, helped Twitter oversee relations with journalists and celebrities in the Middle East and North Africa. Defense counsel argued that what he did on Twitter was part of his job. A federal public defender representing Aboummo did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Twitter declined to comment. A jury acquitted him on five of the 11 counts he faced.
  • Why it matters: Prosecutors said he recruited Bader al-Asaqar, a close adviser to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to use his insider knowledge to access Twitter accounts and dig up personal information about Saudi dissidents. Those accounts include @mujtahidd, the pseudonym of a political activist who gained millions of Twitter followers during the Arab Spring uprisings by accusing the Saudi royal family of corruption and other wrongdoing.

IRun will make the first import order using the cryptocurrency

Reuters cited the semi-official Tasnim agency on Tuesday as saying Iran made its first official import order using the cryptocurrency this week. “By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widely used in foreign trade with target countries,” an official from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade said on Twitter.

  • Background: The order, valued at $10 million, is the first step in allowing trade through digital assets to bypass the dollar-dominated global financial system and trade with other countries limited by US sanctions, such as Russia. The agency did not specify which cryptocurrency was used in the transaction.
  • Why it matters: The move would enable the Islamic Republic to circumvent US sanctions that have crippled the economy. Tehran is one of the largest economies yet to adopt cryptocurrency technology. Last year, a study found that 4.5% of Bitcoin mining takes place in Iran, partly as a result of the country’s cheap electricity.

Around the area

Footage of a Gulf Arab student throwing money out of a convertible sports car on a busy street in Jordan has gone viral on Arab social media, prompting condemnations of pomp and debate about how people should behave abroad.

In an apparent celebration of his graduation, the man stands in a red Ford Mustang wearing a graduation robe over a traditional Arab tunic, throwing money in the air as he holds up traffic. Onlookers are seen scrambling to collect as much money as they can. The license plate on the car was Kuwait.

“And they say we were not treated well [abroad],” tweeted Ahmed Al Sharqawi from Kuwait. An apparent reference to Gulf Arabs. “Respect others and you will be respected.”

Khaled Al Awadi, an activist from Kuwait He said in the video Posted on Twitter, this act presents us [Kuwaitis] They are people who act provocatively because we have money.

If an immigrant behaved like this in our country, we all would have turned against him,’ he said and called upon the parents to ‘raise their children well’.

Oil-rich Kuwait is one of the richest Arab countries and has one of the world’s most valuable currencies.

A Sorry video The initial clip showed a man claiming to be a student on Twitter, his face blurred, saying he was actually Bahraini. The man said he had borrowed his Kuwaiti friend’s car and apologized for his “inappropriate behavior”, saying he was “expressing happiness”.

By Mohammad Abdelbari

A time capsule

King Hussein of Jordan, Lausanne August 12, 1952

This week marks 70 years since King Hussein bin Talal was proclaimed King of Jordan.

Hussein was the third ruler of the Hashemite Empire. He was proclaimed king after the nation’s parliament declared his father Talal unfit to rule due to mental illness.

Beginning his reign as a 17-year-old schoolboy on August 11, 1952, he evolved into a respected politician, peace broker, and longest-serving ruler of the Middle East by the end of his life.

For more than 40 years, Hussein ruled a kingdom not much older than himself — descended from the Hashemite dynasty believed to be descended from the Prophet Mohammed. His reign was marked by threats to his rule at home and the loss of the West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel in war, but it became the second Arab state to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state of Jordan.

Hussain died on February 7, 1999 after battling cancer at the age of 63. His eldest son, King Abdullah, was succeeded by the current ruler of Jordan.

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