An Update on the Iran Nuclear Deal

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: For a while, it seemed that this nuclear deal was going to, you know, restart. Now, it seems that it’s quite dicey that it may not happen and Iran is —


AMANPOUR: — gathering up more enriched uranium since Trump’s action of pulling out of this deal. What is the feeling there about this deal happening?

PLEITGEN: Yes. I think, Christiane, honestly, I think that the feeling is actually getting worse that the Iran nuclear agreement could come back into full force that the U.S. could rejoin the deal, and that the Iranians would come back into full compliance. One of the interesting things that I’ve heard on the ground here in Tehran, speaking to analysts who are very close to government officials, very close to the power centre here, they said, the thing that the Iranians really were hoping for is that when President Biden took office is that he would bring the U.S. almost immediately back into the nuclear agreement that he would do it almost similarly as the U.S. did, for instance, with the Paris Climate Agreement, and bring the U.S. back, and then try to negotiate certain things that the U.S. doesn’t like about the agreement. Like, for instance, some of the sunset clauses that, of course, have moved on, despite the fact that Iran now has more enriched uranium. And also the fact that the U.S., of course, wants other agreements, at least to be talked about in the future. Other things like, for instance, Iran’s ballistic missile program, some of Iran’s actions here in the Middle East, specifically, as well. The Iranians are now saying, or at least the folks that I’ve been speaking to here, with every day that passes, it becomes more difficult for the two sides to come to an agreement. What you’ve had so far is you’ve had the negotiators from the Rouhani administration, and the negotiators from the Biden administration, indirectly, essentially speaking to each other in Vienna (ph). Now you have a fully new administration that’s coming in here in Tehran. And the question is, whether or not there’s going to be more hitches.On the other hand, you have the U.S. side that’s saying, yes, they believe that they want to come back to the nuclear agreement, but they also say that the talks can’t go on forever. So, while the last time that I was here, which was right when the election was happening in Iran, there was a lot of confidence that the deal was going to take place, that it was going to come back. Now, I would say there’s a lot less confidence here in Tehran that the deal will happen. They still want it to happen, but certainly the window seems to be getting smaller or seems to be closing, Christiane.

About This Episode EXPAND

California Governor Gavin Newsom discusses COVID, wilfires and his recall election. Elif Shafak discusses her new book “The Island of Missing Trees.” CNN correspondent Fred Pleitgen gives an update from Iran. Anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo discusses her new book “Nice Racism.”