On July 15, the Valdai Club held an online discussion on the topic: “Under the New Leadership in the United States and Iran.”
The US presidential elections and the victory of the Democrat Joe Biden gave hope for a revision of American policy towards the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the so-called “Iranian nuclear deal”. Joe Biden’s predecessor as president of the United States, Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the agreements in 2018. This decision was criticized not only by the allies and partners of the United States, but also by the Democratic Party. However, even after its return, the restoration of the “deal” parameters did not occur. A tough sanctions regime continues to operate against Iran. The threat of secondary sanctions turns unilateral American restrictions into a full-fledged blockade, which Iranian counterparts from other countries are forced to take into account. Iran’s economy continues to suffer colossal losses from such a blockade.
Iran has recently held presidential elections. The victory of Ebrahim Raisi is associated with the strengthening of conservative tendencies in Iranian foreign and domestic policy. Elections in Iran may also affect further negotiations, although the new president is not going to abandon them. It is obvious that both the United States and Iran have their own internal political “red lines”. At what stage are negotiations within the framework of the Joint Commission on the JCPOA? To what extent are Iran and the United States ready to make mutual concessions? What does this mean for Russian and foreign businesses that want to cooperate with Iran? These and other issues were addressed by the participants in the expert discussion.
Hamidreza Azizi, Visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin
Alexander Maryasov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Iran (2001–2005)
Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Political-Military Analysis, Hudson Institute
Ivan Timofeev, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.