US could offer sanction relief for Iran for reduced nuclear activity
The United States is considering offering sanction relief for Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic reducing its nuclear activity.
The Biden administration is exploring a stopgap agreement with Iran that would offer the Islamic Republic some sanction relief in exchange for Tehran freezing parts of its nuclear program, Axios reported on Monday.
The discussions, which started in January, involve Iran halting its uranium enrichment at 60%, well below the 90% enrichment required of weapons-grade uranium necessary for nuclear weapons, the report said.
Reportedly, Iran currently has over 87 kilograms of 60% enriched uranium in its stockpiles, which, if enriched, would be enough to produce at least one nuclear bomb, the West claims despite Tehran constantly underlining that its nuclear program is peaceful.
The proposed deal is similar to one created by the Obama administration when Iran signed the 2013 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal, which included a short-term freeze on some of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for partial sanctions relief, the report said.
Tehran has so far underlined its rejection of the new approach, citing the 2015 agreement that nearly went back into effect in September before Iran backed out in light of Western countries' rejection of the country's demands to cease investigations into nuclear sites, Axios said.
This comes after China urged the United States in March to make a political decision regarding the JCPOA, underlining that complete and effective cooperation was the correct path forward regarding Iran's nuclear issue.
"The U.S. should make a political decision as soon as possible to work for outcomes from the talks," said Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
On his part, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani reiterated that Tehran acts in accordance with diplomacy and that it has indulged in the nuclear negotiations on basis of belief in a diplomatic resolution to the matter.
Moreover, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) share joint interests and are on the proper path concerning joint cooperation including continued visits and direct technical talks.
The good relations on that topic would positively impact talks aimed at reviving the accord, the top diplomat underlined.
He also said that the Iranian authorities did not solely bank on the JCPOA rather, Tehran "has used and will use all chances to safeguard [Iran's] national interests."