It’s good news that indirect negotiations on reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the US and Iran have started under European supervision in Vienna.

After four years of Donald Trump, his hawkish Middle East policies and his sabotage of the JCPOA, the road to renewal of the agreement will doubtless be prolonged and difficult. An agreement which lifts the ruinous sanctions on the people of Iran and brings all parties back to the terms of the JCPOA is essential. Any attempts to continue Trump’s goal of extending the remit of the Deal, to include missiles and other restrictions, will only result in the complete loss of the Deal. Biden must act in good faith to restore the JCPOA.

Biden has done well with the renewal of the New START Treaty between Russia and the US and he needs to mirror this positive step both in the renewal of the Deal and the rejection of new nuclear warheads. Boris Johnson needs to know that the UK is out on a limb, going in the wrong direction with his attempt to increase the UK’s nuclear arsenal.

Many across the Middle East and beyond will agree with the view of the Iranian Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, who said the warhead increase represented ‘utter hypocrisy’.

CND is organising an online conference entitled Working for Peace in the Middle East, exploring these issues in more detail – do join us on 22nd May.