With the resumption of nuclear talks in Vienna, the chasm separating Iran and the United States has deepened further, European Union diplomats say.
According to Ukrinform, this is reported by Bloomberg.
At least two new issues related to the nuclear program have emerged in recent months, raising the list of obstacles to its implementation to six to seven, according to EU officials familiar with the talks resumed in Vienna on Thursday.
Technically, these obstacles could be removed within 72 hours, they said, but with high-level political decision-making in both Tehran and Washington, although both capitals show no willingness to compromise.
It is noted that the prospects for concluding an agreement that could alleviate the global energy crisis has not yet been determined. The 2015 agreement was designed to limit Iran’s nuclear activities while boosting its economy. Any renewal of the agreement could enable Iran, which ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves and fourth in oil reserves, to increase energy production and exports.
The EU has been mediating talks between US Special Envoy Robert Melli and his Iranian counterpart Ali Bagheri Kani for fifteen months. Tehran abandoned direct talks when the Trump administration terminated the deal in 2018 and reimposed punitive sanctions.
In response, Iran stepped up its nuclear activities and limited international monitoring.
Tehran is putting forward a demand to the IAEA to stop investigating years of nuclear activity, which was one of the key issues at the talks.
At the same time, European diplomats see opportunities to resume negotiations. Iran has abandoned its demand for the US to lift sanctions against its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and no longer insists on guarantees from Washington about its consistency in maintaining the agreement.
The parties have made progress on concrete compensation to Iran even if the new US administration or Congress again refuses it.
“The room for additional significant compromises has been exhausted,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote last week in the Financial Times. “Now I have put a text on the table that addresses in precise detail both the lifting of sanctions and the necessary steps in the nuclear field.”
Even if the current negotiations fail again, it is unlikely Iranian agreement will be declared dead, EU officials say. According to them, this is not in the interests of one of the parties, so the most likely outcome could be continued uncertainty.
The Iranian nuclear agreement was concluded in 2015 during the presidency of Barack Obama in the P5 + 1 format (five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as Germany with the involvement of the EU).
Tehran stopped implementing the nuclear deal after the US withdrew from it in 2018 and began to pressure Iran with tough new sanctions.