Iran Will Return to Vienna to Sign Deal,
Waiting for Washington to Settle Issues
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(April 4, 2022) — Officials with Iran’s Foreign Ministry are giving the indications that the Vienna negotiations are not just “stalled” but effectively over. They say they were prepared to return to Vienna to sign the final deal, but not if it’s just for more negotiations.
Its not always clear how Vienna talks are going since the US and Iran have been the only really negotiating parties for weeks, and they don’t meet face to face. Indirect talks through EU negotiators look similar no matter how active they are.
All the reports of things being “close” seem to be accurate, with Iran interpreting things as finished, and just waiting for the US to settle any internal issues on accepting the final pact.
The big question remains the removal of the Revolutionary Guards from the terror blacklist, something that is politically difficult for the US. Iran is also keen to get a US assurance that the next president won’t unilaterally withdraw from the deal, but that may not be achievable.
State Dept officials offered an unusually upbeat assessment, saying they believe differences can still be overcome. This is a stark difference to their usual predictions that the deal will fall apart. It’s not clear if they picture more negotiations either, or if they, who also believe the deal is near, might resolve the last little bit on their own.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry also indicated openness to resume other talks in the region to resolve key issues outside of the nuclear deal, including getting back to bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia.
Efforts to keep regional issues separate from the nuclear one is probably a good idea, because some regional powers, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, are so generally hostile to Iran that they’re liable to use anything and everything as an excuse to pressure the US away from a nuclear pact.
Iran Blames US for Halt to Vienna Nuclear Talks
DUBAI (April 4, 2022) — The United States is responsible for the pause in talks between Tehran and world powers in Vienna aimed at reviving their 2015 nuclear deal, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday.
“America is responsible for the halt of these talks … a deal is very much within reach,” Saeed Khatibzadeh told a weekly news conference.
“Washington should make political decision for the deal’s revival,” he said, adding that Tehran would “not wait forever”.
The US State Department said on Thursday that a small number of outstanding issues remain in the nuclear talks, adding that the onus was on Tehran to make those decisions.
Iran has said that there are still outstanding issues, including Washington removing a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) designation against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Also Tehran has been pushing for guarantees that any future US president would not withdraw from the agreement. The extent to which sanctions would be rolled back is another unresolved issue.
Khatibzadeh also said Tehran was ready to resume talks with its key regional rival, Saudi Arabia, if Riyadh showed willingness to resolve outstanding bilateral issues.
A Russian demand forced world powers to pause nuclear negotiations in early March, But Moscow later said it had written guarantees that its trade with Iran would not be affected by Ukraine-related sanctions, suggesting Moscow could allow a revival of the tattered pact to go forward.
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