Iran hardliner’s rapid rise a threat to nuclear diplomacy, Europe warned to resume fresh diplomatic talks

A flag of Iran in the wind

With United States’ forthcoming Presidential elections in November the European diplomats are being pushed to reopen ‘shuttle diplomacy’ with Iran, else risk rapid rise and probable wider control of Iranian hardliners over the country’s government and economy.

In a meeting on Friday, the European 3 or E3 (UK, France, Germany) successfully managed to unite and agreed over keeping the nuclear deal viable. The meeting also led to consent of the nations over hitting the US plan of sanctions snapback. The countries also agreed upon opposing the lifting of UN conventional embargo of arms on Iran that is scheduled in autumn.

The 2015 deal that limits Iran’s nuclear programme is at a sensitive stance after the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) declared that at two nuclear plant locations the Iranian officials were not cooperating. After this an official warning through a vote was given to Iran to cooperate by IAEA members, that include European officials.

The rapidly changing dynamics in Iran’s political scenario are giving anxiety to many diplomats in Europe that it is time to renew the talks or take some fresh political initiative. This is being thought to protect the 2015 deal, also known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from collapsing.

Another school of thought among diplomats is that it may be a possibility that the rise of Iranian diplomats who oppose any talks with the West has already reached a threshold that it might be too late to renew any course of action in near future.

Ellie Geranmayeh, who is an Iranian specialist in the European Council, however states in a report that it isn’t too late to start the talks. However, she does say that in absence of any worthy economic offer from the West it might be difficult to persuade the Iranian conservative leaders. She says that there are two major hardliner Iranian power blocs who are “Conservative principlists and Islamic Revolutionary Guard-linked securocrats” who can oppose west interference and talks, while continuing with resistance-full response.

The opposing change with rise of these Iranian hardliners started when the US withdrew from the deal in 2018. Rapid downfall of Iran economy also played a major role in ascend of these hardliners with different ideologies.

The European Shuttle Diplomacy can play a vital role in playing as a bridge between Washington and Tehran while safeguarding the nuclear deal.

Recently, US President Donald Trump has shown interest in renewing the deal, but this time Tehran seems unmoved. A growing power in Iran and recently elected Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf said although Tehran is all for diplomatic peace and talks, it believes that any talks with the US are “absolutely harmful and forbidden.”

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