In order to sell the nuclear deal to domestic constituencies and the world, Iran and the P5+1 countries overpromised the benefits of the deal. But, despite public denials by those officials that the nuclear deal would lead to further negotiations over significant geopolitical issues, it did not stop a myriad of analysts and deal skeptics from speculating about what would happen after the nuclear deal.
Ahead of the Joint Commission for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna on Dec. 13, Frederica Mogherini, the European Union foreign policy chief who led the talks between Iran and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, spoke at the European Parliament and rekindled the debate in Iranian media on whether or not the nuclear deal was intended to open the door for other talks.
In her comments, Mogherini said the preamble of the nuclear deal says the nuclear agreement “could pave the road toward another interaction or a more constructive engagement in the region and create the framework for that.”
Mogherini added, “Maybe I am revealing a secret, but that sentence was inserted at Iran’s request.” She said Iranian negotiators had intended to use the agreement as a mandate to engage with the rest of the world and sideline domestic critics opposed to more engagement.
The Iranian leadership had always been concerned that the nuclear agreement, which saw Iran reduce its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, would lead to other demands by Western countries, particularly over Iran’s missile program. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had repeatedly stressed in public speeches that the negotiators were only tasked with negotiating on the nuclear issue and not other issues.