Russia’s envoy for the Iran nuclear deal negotiations that have been ongoing in Vienna said parties to the talks need more time before the next round. The sixth round of talks concluded on June 20th, and the negotiations have been on pause since then.
“The #ViennaTalks on #JCPOA will resume as soon as all the participating states are ready for what is supposed to be the final stage of negotiations. This isn’t the case in point yet. Some participants need more time. Looks like we will meet in Vienna not earlier than next week,” Russian envoy Mikhail Ulyanov wrote on Twitter.
Ulyanov has put a positive spin on the JCPOA talks since they started in April and had previously said he believed the fifth round of negotiations would be the final one. But the US and Iran still appear to be far apart on certain issues, as the Biden administration is still refusing to lift all Trump-era sanctions.
Since the US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, Iran wants a guarantee that it won’t happen again if the deal is revived. The request is a reasonable one, especially because Iran is already making major concessions by negotiating limited sanctions relief. But the US argues it can’t be done because there is no legal mechanism that would make future presidents bound to the agreement.
Last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that the talks could not go on forever. He also said there were still “serious differences” that needed to be resolved. Iran had earlier said an agreement was reached on the US lifting most major sanctions, but US State Department officials rejected the idea that anything has been agreed.
The sixth round of talks concluded after Ebrahim Raisi was elected to be the next president of Iran, who will take office in August. Raisi is viewed as a hardliner, but he still favors a revival of the JCPOA if the US lifts sanctions. So no matter who is in office in Tehran, the Biden administration will have the power to revive the agreement by lifting sanctions.