Negotiators trying to resuscitate “Iran nuclear deal” are getting closer “to the target but sticking points remain, said a European diplomat after a final meeting in Vienna on Sunday, the day after. the election of the ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raïssi to the presidential election in Iran.
Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and Iran began these meetings in April under the auspices of the European Union, with indirect participation from the United States, in an attempt to resuscitate the 2015 agreement.
“We are close to an agreement but we are not there yet”EU diplomat Enrique Mora told reporters.
According to him, in the next round of negotiations, “Delegations will come from their capitals with clearer instructions, clearer ideas on how to finally come to an agreement.”
Mora did not say when talks would resume, noting that the main problem continued to be finding a solution “in this delicate balance” between lifting US sanctions on Iran and halting the resumption of Tehran’s nuclear activities.
According to him, the next round of talks will also give “a clearer idea” of Iran’s “new political environment”.
Iran’s chief negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, had earlier indicated that participants would take a break after Sunday’s meeting and return to their respective capitals, ending the sixth round of talks.
“We are now closer to a deal than ever. But bridging the distance between us and a deal is not easy.”, he told Iranian national television.
“At this point, it is clear which areas, which actions are possible and which are not. Therefore, it is time for all parties, especially our counterparts, to make their final decision.”, he added.
The Iranian official did not specify how long this interruption of the talks would last.
The nuclear agreement was concluded between the Islamic Republic and the so-called P5 + 1 group (China, United States, France, Great Britain, Russia and Germany) in Vienna in 2015. It offers Tehran relief from sanctions international organizations targeting it in exchange for guarantees proving that Iran is not seeking to acquire atomic weapons.
But the Islamic Republic had gradually freed itself from its obligations since 2019, in response to the reinstatement by then-US President Donald Trump of punitive measures.
She promised to get back on track as soon as President Joe Biden’s United States lifted these sanctions.
The ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raïssi was proclaimed the winner on Saturday of the Iranian presidential election, and is to succeed the moderate Hassan Rouhani in August, inheriting a country in the grip of a serious economic crisis, a consequence of the sanctions imposed by Washington.
Although stemming from a political current characterized by anti-Americanism and rejection of the West, Mr. Raïssi recalled during the campaign that the priority was to obtain the lifting of these sanctions to get the country out of the rut.