Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech today that Iran is ready for talks with the U.S. in regards to their nuclear development program if sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are lifted. This statement comes after the Trump administration walked away from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, a move that led to Iran beginning to ramp up their nuclear weapon production through uranium enrichment. President Rouhani’s public openness to returning to talks with the United States shows his desire to have the United States return to the Iran nuclear deal and to have sanctions lifted on Iranian oil exports.
According to Al Jazeera, Rouhani explained in his speech “We have always believed in talks … if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now, and anywhere.”
There are three major European countries that were also involved in the Iran nuclear deal the U.S. pulled out of; France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The three countries have also made a statement regarding the U.S. returning to talks and the Iran nuclear deal, saying, “We think that the moment has come to act in a responsible way and look for ways to stop the escalation of tensions and to resume dialogue. The risks are such that is necessary that all the parties take a pause and think about the possible consequences of their actions.”
President Rouhani’s call for a return to talks with the United States is commendable because it focuses on diplomacy and negotiation instead of violence. Iranian interest in quelling the escalation in tension between the two countries is important to note, and the fact that Iran is willing to limit their nuclear program and therefore nuclear capabilities is incredibly important to United States security and should be treated as such. Iranian willingness to limit their production of one of the most dangerous weapons in our current world if they can negotiate a lifting of the U.S. sanctions on oil is a step in the right direction towards peace and stability between the two countries.
The lack of importance placed on returning to negotiations by the United States is concerning, especially when Iran along with major Western powers are all encouraging the U.S. to return to the Iran nuclear deal. If the U.S. continues to avoid returning to negotiations with Iran tensions will inevitably escalate. Having an opportunity to negotiate nuclear weapon capabilities with a country that has regularly been an enemy of the United States and a power player in the Middle East is an opportunity that cannot be wasted.
The sanctions imposed by the current U.S. administration came in 2018 after the U.S. left the Iranian nuclear deal that the Obama administration agreed to in 2015. The Iranian nuclear deal lifted sanctions on Iranian oil exports and in return, Iran agreed to follow specific guidelines on their nuclear development, such as how much enriched uranium they could produce. Since the United States left the Iran nuclear deal and imposed stricter sanctions on Iranian oil exports, Iran has been slowly increasing its uranium enrichment, past the limit agreed upon in the Iran nuclear deal. Iran going over the limit of uranium enrichment concerns many countries about increased nuclear capabilities of the country.
The hope of most countries is that the U.S. decides to resume talks with Iran and encourage Iran to limit its uranium enrichment. If the U.S. continues to refuse to resume talks with Iran or come back to the Iran nuclear deal Iran will possibly continue to go over the uranium enrichment limit, unless other European countries can convince Iran to comply with the deal without the U.S. being apart of it. Iran has expressed openness to resume talks, and the European countries involved in the deal are encouraging the U.S. support as well. Altogether, diplomatic talks between the two countries are the most viable option to restore peace and stability.
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