The White House said on Tuesday that the Trump administration and Iran had agreed to resume negotiations to reinstate the lifting of nuclear sanctions as part of efforts to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal. A senior administration official told The Associated Press that the announcement followed “a discussion of how to improve on” the nuclear deal reached in 2015 between the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Russia, China and Iran.
“We have reached an agreement with the regime to end the regime’s illicit nuclear program and dismantle its missile program and drive a wedge between them and their terrorist proxies,” President Trump said in a statement. “In return, we must eliminate the regime’s threats against our allies. We will remain vigilant in defense of American security interests.”
The U.S. official acknowledged that restoring the sanctions will be a significant challenge, as Tehran is widely believed to have moved significant portions of its nuclear program to facilities in secret and few other countries have agreed to do business with Iran.
Mr. Trump “has recognized this as a very significant challenge, and he’s going to face it in his negotiating sessions with Iran,” the official said. “In any negotiation, the harder the challenge, the more valuable the issue becomes.”
According to Reuters, the Trump administration expects to receive at least 18 export licenses from partners, including France, Germany, Italy, China and India, in addition to the existing licenses from Austria, Japan, South Korea and Canada, to enable U.S. companies to pursue new business in Iran. If all 18 licenses are granted, more than $300 billion of Iranian oil and natural gas revenues, Mr. Trump said, could be repatriated to the United States and the total value of U.S. exports to Iran could increase by $1.5 billion.
Mr. Trump will have the final say on any proposed agreements, according to the official.
The prospective agreement will be reviewed by the Trump administration before it takes effect, and Iran is expected to produce a report that confirms the country has complied with its obligations under the deal.
Like all negotiations, the administration cautioned that the talks could change if Iran is dissatisfied with the result.
“We will evaluate the agreement and its implementation based on the oil production, exports, and the money that we can get back to the United States,” the official said. “If we think it is not enough, we will terminate the agreement.”
Read the full story at The Associated Press.
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