Ahead of Key Nuclear Talks, Iran Warns Promises Aren’t Enough

High hopes for latest round of talks in Vienna

Vital talks on restoring the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran are going to hit a key stage next week, with the fifth round of talks in Vienna. There are high hopes, with EU officials predicting a deal. Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei is warning that it’s going to take more than just a lot of promises.

“I have told our negotiators that actions, not promises, are needed for the restoration of the nuclear deal,” Khamenei said in his latest speech. That likely reflects how many promises were already built into the deal, which were never complied with.

Realistically, the part of the Iran deal that the Iranians really need is sanction relief promised in the deal, and if the P5+1 nations ever came through with that the deal would not be in its current state to begin with. Fixing the pact could be as simple as finally coming through on the relief.

They have to get to the talks without ruining the chances of making a deal first. To that end several nations are calling to hold off on any anti-Iran resolutions relating to the most recent report from the IAEA, which complained Iran hadn’t explained uranium traces found at three sites.

The nations see pushing this issue right now as dangerous to the talks, and reportedly they will offer single country statements of criticism instead of a resolution, hoping that will be a compromise that will allow them to criticize Iran, and not muddy the waters on any talks.

The traces at the Israel-alleged sites have been made a big deal, and Iran maintains those were never nuclear sites to begin with. The reaction today is a clear sign that the nations don’t see those allegations as a potential deal-breaker to begin with.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.