There has been encouraging progress in the Iran nuclear talks as reports reveal that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Tehran have agreed on an approach to resolve issues crucial in efforts to revive the 2015 deal. The two sides have expressed their commitment to address the standoff over the origin of uranium particles found at old but undeclared sites by early June.

Of course, there are still a number of important matters that need to be sorted, but the talks are now closer than ever to reaching a successful conclusion. The statements from the officials and the language being used shows that both the sides have decided to compromise using a practical and pragmatic approach to overcome important safeguards issues.

The revival of this deal can have a positive snowball effect in terms of reducing tensions in the region and beyond. Not only will the revival of a deal improve Tehran’s relations with the US and other countries in the West, it will also allow Iran’s neighbours and other countries in the region to work with it on important economic and development initiatives. The statements coming out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are also very encouraging, and the Crown Prince has stressed on the need to negotiate with Iran for a brighter future for both countries. Countries such as Yemen have suffered immensely due to the proxy war between these two countries and the hope is that a warming of relations can have a spill over effect on this conflict hotspots as well.

However, amidst this positive news, Russia could potentially throw a spanner in the works as it has asked for guarantees from the US before it backs the deal. This demand could potentially further delay the nuclear deal talks. It is evident that Moscow is trying to secure its interest in this case, and officials in Iran are right in pointing out that this move is not constructive for the nuclear talks. The next few days are considered to be decisive for the JCPOA negotiations and the stakeholders should seek to insulate the process from external pressures. If not, all the hard work to revive the deal could be scuppered.