Russia Proposed an Interim Nuclear Accord to Iran

On Saturday, an exclusive report from NBC showed Russia approached Iran about a possible interim nuclear accord while keeping the United States in the loop.

According to NBC, the news network’s sources, citing a group of former and existing US officials, Iran declined Russia’s interim solution, which the Biden presidency approved.

The Russian Deal

According to the Russian government, one version of Russia’s suggested interim deal would have required the Islamic Republic to cease uranium enrichment by up to 60 percent.

If this happened, Iran would also have needed to get rid of its current stockpile of highly enriched uranium. In return, certain punitive measures would have been lifted, allowing Iran to access billions of dollars locked up in offshore bank accounts.

This notably includes bank accounts in South Korea, where the United States permitted a South Korean company to pay liability owed to an Iranian firm in a transition seen as a step toward building trust with Tehran.

Per the findings, Iran, on the other hand, rebuffed Russia’s proposal while the United States withdrew itself from Russia’s efforts to reach an interim deal.

The Iranian National Army Day parade in Tehran, held in September, included missile displays. A claim that the Islamic Republic had secured a two-year temporary accord with foreign powers has been disputed by the country earlier in January.

NBC News, which cited a senior Biden intelligence official, noted that an interim agreement is not seriously under consideration.

The official allegedly stated, “While we cannot answer for any negotiations that may have occurred between Russia and Iran, we are confident that no such temporary agreement is being seriously considered at this time.”

Antony Blinken’s Remarks

Russia’s effort to contact an interim agreement with Iran comes a day after Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov conversed with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken.

The latter warned that negotiations with Iran have reached “a critical juncture.” Lavrov and Blinken also discussed the prospects of an interim agreement with Iran.

According to Blinken, while the period of option to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is still open, Iran’s nuclear development would make it impossible to return to the agreement. That’s if a new agreement was not reached in the next few weeks.

Other speakers at the negotiating table are sounding more hopeful. A European Union official statement on Friday said the Vienna discussions are progressing in the right direction and a final deal may be within reach in the near future.

Iran and the United States have begun indirect negotiations on restarting the nuclear deal, which began nearly two months ago. In the end, we’ll only have to watch as things develop. Hopefully, any decision made will be in favor of America.