EU proposes lifting pressure on Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to revive deal

Monday, August 15th, 2022 10:03 | By
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (R) shakes hands with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, on June 25, 2022.

Europe’s proposal to resuscitate Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers would blunt American sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and pave the way for Tehran to avoid further scrutiny of suspected atomic sites, according to excerpts of a draft of the text reviewed by POLITICO.

The details of the draft were finalized in Vienna on Monday after 16 months of talks. As the EU worked on it in close coordination with Washington, the terms suggest that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is prepared to make greater concessions than expected to secure a deal — especially by reducing pressure on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a powerful military organization with near-ubiquitous political and economic influence in Iran that the US has designated as a terrorist organisation.

“The reported arrangement would be a slap in the face to long-held due diligence principles and practices like know your customer and know your customer’s customer,” said Behnam Ben Taleblu, an analyst at the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies who has written extensively on the Iran nuclear deal.

 “It would also stand to weaken secondary sanctions against those who would transact with the IRGC. Any deal that emerges from this arrangement would hands down benefit the IRGC and its myriad fronts and affiliates.”

However, the U.S. special envoy for the Iran talks, Rob Malley, in a statement to POLITICO after this story was first published, denied that the United States was changing its standards or rules when it comes to enforcing sanctions.   

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