According to Virginia Tech professor of economics Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a fresh iteration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, often known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, would be substantially dissimilar from the original.
Version 2 of the JCPOA is considerably different from Version 1. Version one was being implemented by a moderate administration that was, on the whole, particularly focused on rapprochement with the West and the global economy, according to Salehi-Isfahani.
The JCPOA’s signatories started the first of many rounds of negotiations in Vienna last year to try to save the agreement after the U.S. withdrew from it in 2018 under the leadership of then-President Donald Trump.
Iran agreed to destroy a large portion of its nuclear programme and permit greater foreign inspections as part of the initial agreement in 2015, which was put into effect during the Obama administration, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China were among the other international powers that signed.
Ebrahim Raisi, the president of Iran at the moment, is viewed as being more anti-Western and hardline than his predecessor Hassan Rouhani, who presided over the agreement’s signature in 2015.
The professor continued, “The pact attempted to normalise Iran’s relations with the West, [given that] Rouhani’s team and his political base — Iran’s modern middle class — were strongly western oriented and opposed to Iran entering the Sino-Russian orbit.”
“If a new JCPOA materialises, it will take place in a totally different setting since Iran is actually turning its focus from the West to the East. Therefore, a different deal is required.
Iran’s turn toward the East
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, declared that the country preferred “East to the West” in February 2018, prior to the United States’ withdrawal from the JCPOA.
According to Salehi-Isfahani, the Supreme Leader made it plain that Iran needed to focus more on the East after Trump pulled out of the agreement.
Iran has aimed to strengthen ties with China and Russia under Raisi.
In September of last year, during a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) session, Raisi travelled to Tajikistan for the first time in his capacity as president of Iran.
In the SCO, a regional security alliance dominated by China and Russia, Iran enjoys observer status.
Iran has been pushing for SCO membership ever since Raisi’s election, Putin also visited Tehran, and Raisi made two trips to Moscow, according to the professor.
In response to widespread criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the foreign ministers of Iran and Russia recently met in Tehran.
Raisi reaffirmed Iran’s dedication to its 25-year comprehensive cooperation programme with China upon taking office.
Although Iran seems more hopeful than it has in years that it will ultimately reach an agreement on a revised version of the 2015 nuclear deal, there are still a number of significant barriers to overcome.
The “final language” for the agreement has been provided by the European Union, but Iran’s negotiators have raised concerns that may be impossible to resolve. Iran, for instance, requests assurances that the agreement will be legally binding, in order to prevent future U.S. administrations from breaking a renewed accord.
Given what he claims are obstacles on the domestic front, Reid I’Anson, senior commodity analyst at Kpler, is likewise pessimistic about a resurgence. He said last week on CNBC’s “Capital Connection” that a renewed agreement is improbable because it would be “difficult to sell” to Iran and suffer from political unpopularity in the United States.