Iran Nuclear Talks ‘Unclear’ as Russia Issues Demands

Iran doesn't want Russian demands to impact national interests

If it isn’t one thing in the Vienna talks, it’s another. The Iran nuclear deal has been at the any-day-now stage all month, but Iranian officials say they’re less clear on the direction and are waiting for a new round of Russian demands.

With the US finally open to accepting sanctions relief for Iran, the flurry of new sanctions against Russia looks to get in the way. Russia was quick to see problems, and while the specifics of the demands aren’t public yet, the gist is that Russia wants a guarantee that the new sanctions won’t be an obstacle for any obligations under the Iran deal.

The US is rejecting this so far, saying the Iran deal and Russia are unrelated and there’s no need to connect them. The argument that they’re not connected seems to be disconnected with spurning Russia’s demand for a promise not to connect them.

Iran is concerned, warning that they don’t want to endanger their own interests just to placate Russia. Working this out to the satisfaction of all parties is likely to further delay the process.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of