Iran nuclear talks will survive presidential vote: analysts
TEHRAN, June 11: Iran's presidential vote next week will likely replace a moderate with an ultraconservative, but this shouldn't derail ongoing nuclear talks because there is a broad political consensus in Tehran that they should succeed, analysts say.
All major players in Tehran, whatever their ideological leanings, are pragmatic enough to know that only by saving the tattered 2015 nuclear deal can the Islamic republic free itself from crippling US sanctions, they argue.
The decision to try to revive the agreement, struck under moderate President Hassan Rouhani, now "transcends factional struggles," said Clement Therme, a researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.
"It is a trade-off, between the survival of the regime through improving the deteriorated economic situation, and the desire to preserve the status quo on the political level," he told AFP.
Analyst Henry Rome of the New York-based Eurasia Group said Tehran appears determined to revive the deal torpedoed by former US president Donald Trump because "for Iran, sanctions relief is a strategic necessity".
Ultimate political power in Iran rests with the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who gave the green light to both the original agreement with a group of world powers, and to efforts since April to revive it.
The landmark accord offered Iran crucial sanctions relief in return for limits on what it says is a civilian nuclear programme - but it has been on life support since Trump withdrew the United States from it in 2018.
Trump's economic and diplomatic "maximum pressure" campaign has plunged Iran into its deepest economic turmoil in decades, and led it to progressively walk back from most of the limits on its nuclear programme.
Trump's successor Joe Biden has since backed diplomatic efforts to revive the accord, and US officials have indirectly joined talks in Vienna between Iran and the other parties, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. -AFP