Washington and Tehran will ultimately be able to strike a nuclear agreement because Iran needs relief from economic sanctions, according to a senior advisor at a U.S. think tank, CNBC reported.
“I think, ultimately, a deal is possible because the Iranians need money,” said Richard Goldberg of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
The U.S. and Iran both appear interested to return to the negotiating table, but have not been able to agree on who should make the first move. The Biden administration last week offered to begin talks with Tehran, but Iran has repeatedly stressed that the U.S. must lift sanctions to kickstart the process. Washington has resisted those calls so far.
Additionally, Iran’s new deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is “certainly not helpful” and falls short of what was previously allowed, Goldberg said.
Iran’s parliament passed a law that blocks IAEA inspections, but both sides on Sunday said “necessary verification and monitoring activities” will be able to continue for up to three months.
Tan Feng Qin of the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute said Iran is aware that preventing inspections could have disadvantages.
The three-month reprieve “gives some space and some time for the U.S. and Iran to try to work out the solution to the sequencing problem,” he told CNBC’s “Capital Connection.”
Goldberg also remains optimistic that a deal can be reached.
“All that you’re seeing, all the threats, the terrorism, threats in the Gulf, the seizing of tankers, the nuclear program, taking hostages, these are all various extortion tactics to get money and get sanctions relief,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. “That means that a deal is possible.”