Nuclear Talks Resume In Iran as Officials Rush to Prevent an Arms Race in the Middle East

An Iranian flag is pictured near in a missile during a military drill, with the participation of Iran’s Air Defense units, Iran October 19, 2020. Picture taken October 19, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

In June, negotiations to prevent Iran going nuclear fell apart, but they are set to resume in a bid to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middel East or a regional escalation and conflict.
Although talks were ended by Donald Trump, Britain has joined France, Germany, America, the EU, Russia and China in Vienna with the hope of persuading Iran to return to the former deal. After years of difficult diplomacy, all parties involved signed a nuclear agreement named The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015, and the aim is to return to that deal again.
The deal would benefit all parties, with sanctions on Iran being lifted as long as the government promised to stop its nuclear programme. Iran have always denied allegations that they are building a bomb, instead arguing that the uranium is only enriched for civilian purposes.
Although this deal worked for a while, former President Donald Trump removed America’s signature and began to impose maximum pressure sanctions instead, triggering Iran to return to enriching uranium.
Some experts estimate Iran will have the capacity to build a bomb in only a month if they were to go all out in creating one, but more conservative estimates suggest it could take them around 6 months.
Israel has begun dusting off plans to bomb Iran‘s nuclear programme, and Saudi Arabia has clearly stated that it would counteract any Iranian nuclear weapons programme with its own.
Iran desperately needs a deal, and its economy has been all but destroyed by the sanctions, however the new hardline government will not be easily swayed into a new deal. The new president, Ebrahim Raisi, has criticised his predecessors for signing the first deal, so he is likely not going to want to sign this one.
Despite this, diplomats from Britain and America are insisting that a deal that would benefit all parties is within reach. It will soon become clear whether either side has brought a serious, workable offer to the table. If they haven’t, the hope of resigning the JCPOA will disappear.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.