Iranians went to the polls on Friday to elect a successor to President Hassan Rouhani, a reformist leader who is ending his second term.
Rouhani was one of the key architects of the 2015 nuclear deal, and Iran saw permission to limit its nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.
The vote comes at a time of tension over the deal.
Then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the deal in May 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.
Iran has steadily slashed compliance with the agreement, and remains a signatory to it.
The remaining signatories are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and China.
The European parties to the agreement, officially known as the Joint Plan Integral Action (JCPOA), have made an effort to recover from the withdrawal in Washington.
The re-application of sanctions imposed by France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union has sought to alleviate the impact on Tehran, but with little success.
However, hopes of saving the JCPOA have risen recently following US President Joe Biden’s rise to the White House.
Biden wants to revive the deal as well as extend its deadlines, and several rounds of US-Iran indirect negotiations have taken place.
The talks are not straightforward because Iran refuses to hold a preliminary meeting, but the U.S. has had discussions with many participants.
Now, there are all sorts of looks in Iran.
Will the results of Friday’s poll affect the future of the pact?
Here’s what you should know:
What is Tehran’s position on the JCPOA?
While internal disparities remain, it seems that Iran’s various political parties have jointly understood the need to restore the nuclear deal in order to remove the harsh sanctions that have affected all aspects of the country’s economy.
Conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, seen as a very pioneer, said in a recent televised election debate that he would abide by the nuclear deal, adding that he intended to form a “strong” government to steer it in the right direction.
Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s top decision-maker on foreign and nuclear policies, has said he will return to the Tehran agreement when he shows that the US will meet its commitments under the agreement.
Iran has said it wants to remove “all” of the 1,500 sanctions imposed, re-imposed or re-labeled during the Trump era, and then spend unspecified time verifying that they have been lifted into action.
The US also wants a guarantee that it will not unilaterally abandon the agreement in the future, although it is unclear what form this will take.
The Islamic Republic has expressed a willingness to return to its commitments according to the JCPOA, but has not publicly announced exactly how it could be done or how long it would take, and is opposed to extending the initial agreement.
Earlier this week, Iran’s top negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, said the country wanted a “good” and unhurried deal in its favor.
He has previously warned that Iran will immediately withdraw from talks if other parties believe they are not serious in the talks.
Will the election affect that?
Six presidential candidates, one of them a moderate, have backed the resumption of negotiations to restore the treaty.
So the result is not expected to change Tehran’s current stance – trying to revive the deal.
It is also crucial for Khamenei, who has authority over Tehran’s stance on the issue.
“Relieving penalties is something [Iranian] the system is being sought in its entirety, ”San Jakera, deputy director of Sanam Vakil and director general of the research team at Chatham House in the Middle East and North Africa, told Al Jazeera.
“So I don’t see it affecting the process [by the Iranian election] If the US does not refuse to ease sanctions, ”he said.
Where is the US, and what have signatories like China and Russia said about the treaty?
Under Biden’s command, the U.S. has expressed interest in reviving the JCPOA.
His administration sees the resumption of the deal as a step towards a broader deal – one that puts tougher limits on Iran’s nuclear program and covers missile testing and many other issues. For its part, Iran has stated that it does not want to extend the deal.
The rest of the signatories to the treaty want the U.S. to return to the agreement and make sure it meets Iran’s requirements.
European powers have repeatedly urged their ally, Washington, to return to the agreement.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has made it clear that he accepts Iran’s “reasonable demands” on the future of the deal, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow, Iran’s ally, hopes to fully restore the deal in the initial terms.
Representatives from Russia and China have met with representatives of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the EU and Iran with the aim of saving the agreement.