Could the outcome of Iran’s election affect the nuclear deal? | Election Issues
Iranians are set to go to the polls on Friday to elect a new president, President Hassan Rouhani.
Rouhani was one of the 2015 nuclear deal builders who saw Iran agree to reduce its nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions.
Voting comes when there are problems with the deal.
The next president, Donald Trump, unanimously withdrew the United States from the treaty in May 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.
Iran responded by reducing their compliance with the agreement, which was signed.
Signed here are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China.
The European parties to the treaty, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have struggled to restore since Washington’s ouster.
France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union have worked to reduce the risk of a return to Tehran, but to no avail.
However, hopes of rescuing the JCPOA have risen shortly after US President Joe Biden ascended to the White House.
Biden wants to revive the alliance even further, and a number of US-Iran talks have taken place.
The talks are not straightforward because Iran is denying face-to-face meetings, but the US has been in talks with many of the participants.
Now, all eyes are on Iran.
Will the results of Friday’s survey affect the future of the union?
Here’s what you need to know:
What are Tehran’s current views on the JCPOA?
Despite internal strife, it appears that Iran’s various political parties have agreed that a nuclear strike is needed to curb sanctions that have affected the country’s economy.
Conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, who sees him as a leader, said in a recent televised interview that he would respect the nuclear deal, adding that he wanted to create a “strong” government to lead the way.
Prime Minister Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s chief of staff for foreign affairs and nuclear weapons, said Tehran would return to the alliance as soon as the US said it would live up to its promises.
Iran has said it wants “all” of the 1,500 or more sanctions imposed, re-imposed or reversed during Trump’s ouster, after which it will be an indefinite period of time to prove he was promoted.
It also seeks assurance that the US will not abandon the treaty unanimously, although it is not known what its guarantee will be.
The Islamic Republic has indicated that it wants to return to what it promised under the JCPOA, but has not publicly announced how it will be done or how long it will take, and is opposed to extending the initial agreement.
Earlier this week, Iran’s chief negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, said the country wanted a “good” deal that would serve its interests and not be chased away.
He had previously warned that Iran would withdraw from the talks immediately if it felt that some aspects were not sincere in the negotiations.
Will the elections affect this?
All six candidates for the presidency, one of whom is a non-partisan, have been involved in the ongoing dialogue aimed at renewing the agreement.
The result is not expected to change Tehran’s current mindset – to try to re-establish the alliance.
Crucially, so is Khamenei, who has a key role in Tehran’s views on the issue.
“The relief of punishment is the same thing [Iranian] the whole system wants, “Sanam Vakil, deputy director and co-founder of UK research at Chatham House in the Middle East and North Africa, told Al Jazeera.
“So I don’t see this happening [by the Iranian election] unless the US refuses to ignore the allegations, ”he said.
Where does the US represent, and what do signatories like China and Russia say about the deal?
Under Biden, the US was interested in restoring the JCPOA.
Its observers see the renewal of the alliance as a stepping-stone to a more comprehensive alliance – one that sets the bar on Iran’s nuclear weapons system and facilitates nuclear testing and a number of other issues. For its part, Iran has said it does not want to expand the agreement.
The signatories to the deal want to bring the US back into the alliance and ensure that Iran adheres to its principles.
European authorities repeatedly pushed their counterpart, Washington, back to trade.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it clear that he agrees with Iran’s “clear demands” on the future of the agreement, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Moscow, Iran’s counterpart, is expected to reinstate its former constitution.
The Russian and Chinese delegations have joined forces from the UK, France, Germany, the EU and Iran in talks aimed at rescuing the treaty.