What are the chances of a deal with Iran?
In the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, a decision could now be imminent: Tehran has sent its response to a draft agreement proposed by the EU. Removing sanctions against Iran would ease the situation on the oil and gas markets. Politically, this could be the end of a prolonged conflict, but tensions between the US and other Middle Eastern countries could also escalate. Commentators are sceptical.
Under pressure to reach a deal
Now the West has no choice but to make further concessions to Iran, comments Christine Kensche, Middle East correspondent for Die Welt:
“Donald Trump is to blame for this. ... Since Trump revoked the agreement, Iran has enriched 18 times more uranium and reduced the breakthrough time for having enough material to make a nuclear bomb from around a year to just a few weeks. ... Either there's a new deal or war - that's what it boils down to now. The West is preoccupied with Ukraine, gas prices and inflation. No one can afford another war, not even Israel, whose military is not yet prepared despite its rhetoric. Tehran knows this, so it can calmly continue to make demands.”
Tehran exploiting the energy crisis
El País urges caution: Given the rising energy prices, the return of Iranian oil to the markets is music to Europe's ears. ... Tehran, which has been struggling with sanctions since the 1979 revolution, is trying to exploit the situation. Caution is therefore called for. ... In diplomatic parlance, it is said that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
The Ayatollah has the upper hand now
In Diena's opinion, it is less likely that Tehran will eventually relent than it was in 2015:
“The main problem is that the geopolitical situation today is very different from the situation in 2015: seven years ago there were no alternatives aside from normalising relations with the West for Iran. ... Under the conditions of the global geopolitical confrontation, now there is an alternative. It is also clear that the Iranian Ayatollahs' sympathies do not lie with the West. As a result, Tehran is placing most of its geopolitical bets on cooperation with Beijing and Moscow.”
Rushdie attack weighs heavily
El Periódico de Catalunya sees many obstacles on the path to a US return to the terms of the 2015 deal:
“First of all, the criminal stabbing attack on Salman Rushdie by a US citizen of the Shiite faith has given a boost to those who still consider Iran to be part of the 'axis of evil'. ... While the Iranian regime has not justified the attack on Rushdie, it is upholding the fatwa, which is not conducive to a favorable climate. ... The EU will have to convince Ebrahim Raisi's government that such an agreement is not based on its legal effectiveness but on mutual trust between the signatories.”