Iran Urges US to Make Nuclear Deal Before New President Takes Office

US will continue talks as Iran envoy terms deal 'closer than ever'

Iran’s elections have come and gone, and Ebrahim Raisi is now the president-elect. The conservative Raisi may be a more difficult partner to negotiate the Iran nuclear deal with, but outgoing FM Javad Zarif suggests that there is a good possibility that a nuclear deal could still be made before Raisi takes office.

Deputy FM Abbas Araghchi, in Vienna for the ongoing talks, says the deal is “closer than ever,” and that the US needs to make some decisions to get it done. The outgoing Rouhani government staked a lot on the deal, and is keen to salvage it for their legacy. 

Iran’s position stands in stark contrast to IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, who suggested the world should wait for the new government to try to make a deal. This suggestion was made even though talks were ongoing, and the next government was expected to be less inclined toward compromise.

The power change could be a hassle in some cases, though Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei will have the final say either way, and if he signs off on a deal, there is no real possibility that Raisi would try to back out of it.

The US seems to be pursuing the deal at any rate, and while complaining about the Iranian election, will continue to work on a deal with the Rouhani government, which by all indications is close at hand.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.