Iran wants another concession in the impending nuclear deal struck in July, according to reports.
Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei now wants a permanent end to economic sanctions, which would allow the country to do business globally without the threat of a shutdown. It would also mean the U.S. would have no leverage should Iran fail to keep its end of the deal regarding nuclear research and inspections.
Although the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) refers to lifting sanctions, the Obama Administration said that sanctions can be reinstated if necessary. There is some speculation about reopening negotiations, but a State Department official said there would be no further talks of changes.
“There is no renegotiation, and the nuclear-related sanctions relief that Iran will receive once the IAEA verifies that it has completed its nuclear steps is clearly spelled out in the text of the (agreement),” the official said.
Part of the speculation on renegotiation stems from plans for Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York. Iran’s Fars News Agency is reporting that Iranian officials are scheduled to meet with the entire P5+1 group in New York on Sept. 28. The P5+1 delegation negotiated the deal the U.S. is attempting to implement.
The State Department official insists it will be the current agreement that is established.
“Our focus is on implementing the deal, and verifying that Iran completes its key nuclear steps under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the official stated.
The new demand from Khamenei has not increased faith in the deal from the non-profit group the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which provides translations of news, as well as analysis in events concerning the Middle East. MEMRI believes killing sanctions completely would “constitute a fundamental change” in the agreement.
“This is because lifting the sanctions, rather than suspending them, will render impossible a snapback in case of Iranian violations,” MEMRI said in its online analysis.
Ayatollah adviser, Ali Akbar, was quoted by Fars News Agency saying that the new demand should be met and the country will not honor the deal otherwise.
“It is understood from the Supreme Leader’s remarks that balance is necessary in the two sides’ measures and in case of imbalance, nothing will be done,” Akbar said.
Meanwhile, Iranian leaders are meeting with companies from Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy and France to sell oil. The National Iranian Oil Company plans to unveil its first phase of oil contracts in November. More new oil development contracts will be introduced at a December conference in London, according to Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh.
Iran is currently seeing some foreign investment in its energy industry, but Zanganeh said the government wants something else. The Islamic Republic wants foreign technology.
“More than cash, we would like to have their advanced technology to be transferred to domestic companies,” Zanganeh said.
The Iranian contracts are crafted to attract foreign investors to the country’s oil projects. They include integrated packages with different stages of exploration, development and production.