World powers meet Sunday in Vienna in their first attempt to revive a nuclear deal with Iran following the Islamic Republic’s election of a new hardline president.
While Ebrahim Raisi’s win is not expected to derail efforts to return the U.S. to the accord, the change in administration in Tehran has complicated diplomacy. The Persian Gulf nation’s president-elect is himself subject to sanctions imposed by the U.S. in 2019, and Iran insists they must be removed as part of an agreement to revive the accord.
Iran’s lead negotiator Abbas Araghchi signaled that no breakthrough was imminent in this sixth round of talks since negotiations began two months ago. Diplomats will return to their capitals for additional consultations, and clear differences remain that will require yet another round of negotiation, Araghchi said in a statement on Telegram.
Failure to clinch a deal this week means that focus shifts to June 24. That’s when a temporary monitoring pact expires with International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. Iran said last week it was open to prolonging that side agreement as long as progress continued to reviving the broader deal.
By Jonathan Tirone and Arsalan Shahla, 20 June 2021, published on Bloomberg
Photo: Mehr News Agency, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons