IAEA Chief Wants Nuclear Deal to Wait for New Iran Govt

Iran's Rouhani govt urged deal to be made before the vote

Just days from the start of the Iranian presidential election, IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi has made a surprising reversal in the nuclear talks, saying he believes the JCPOA deal must wait until the new government comes into power.

That’s a stiffing comment, as talks are ongoing in Vienna, Iran’s outgoing Rouhani government has called on everyone to make a deal before the election, and has even suggested that the terms are virtually in place, awaiting a few details.

Rouhani came into power specifically on advocating for a deal, and clearly wants to restore the deal, and his legacy, on his way out the door. As a reformist, Rouhani is almost certain easier to deal with at any rate.

The election outcome could loom large if everyone waits, too, as the next government is likely to be more conservative, and will probably want to establish itself as tougher than Rouhani by being less inclined to compromise.

It’s not clear Grossi can make the two sides wait for a new government, of course, as this is a deal between the P5+1 and Iran. Rouhani clearly still believes in a deal, and with signs that a deal might be close, it would be a shame to scrap the progress and have to start over in a few weeks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.