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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

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Iran Nuclear Deal Talks Are Finally Progressing

Russia, China, and the European signatories to the so-called Iran nuclear deal agreed on Friday to intensify talks on bringing the United States and Iran back into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the diplomat leading the Russian delegation at the talks said.  

“The Joint Commission of #JCPOA at its meeting today opened a new round of the talks on full restoration of the nuclear deal. The participants agreed on the need to intensify the process. The delegations seem to be ready to stay in Vienna as long as necessary to achieve the goal,” Mikhail Ulyanov, Representative of Russia to International Organizations in Vienna, who leads the Russian delegation at the talks, tweeted on Friday.   The U.S. and Iran have been holding indirect talks in Vienna since last month on possible ways for both countries to return to the deal. U.S. President Joe Biden has signaled a willingness to return to the nuclear deal, but only if Iran returns to full compliance in its nuclear activities. 

Iran, for its part, has said it would start complying with the deal only after the U.S. lifts the sanctions, including the oil sanctions, on Tehran. 

Iran will be able to raise its crude oil exports to 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) after the U.S. sanctions on its oil industry are lifted, a top Iranian official said this weekend. 

The indirect talks between the United States and Iran have made some progress but not major breakthroughs in recent weeks. However, diplomatic shuttles of U.S. officials and senators in the Middle East in recent days have intensified reports that there could be a breakthrough soon.

Related: Oil Markets Optimistic As Brent Flirts With $70

A deal is in the works that will only collapse if Iran decides not to play ball, officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and from the U.S. say, The Dispatch reports

Russia’s Ulyanov has said, as carried by news agency TASS, that the participants in the talks are “determined to do their utmost to complete the talks by the end of May.” 

On Thursday, Ulyanov tweeted:

“The Head of the Iranian delegation is cautious in his assessment of the current state of affairs at the Vienna talks (very similar to assessments of the US colleagues). But both #Iran and #US refrain from pessimistic conclusions. This seems to be not a bad sign as of the moment.”  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on May 09 2021 said:
    Don’t jump the gum. We may never see a lifting of US sanctions on Iran even by 2023 or ever. The reason is that the positions of the United States and Iran are so far apart that it will be almost impossible to reconcile.

    Iran is determined to acquire nuclear weapons otherwise why the need for a ballistic missile development programme. The United States and its allies in the Arab Gulf as well as Israel want to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    Iran will neither negotiate with the United States directly before the sanctions are lifted first nor will it be ready to renegotiate the nuclear deal which will certainly try to impose limitations on its nuclear and ballistic missile development programmes. From the United States’ point of view, renegotiating the deal means Iran’s relinquishing its nuclear and ballistic missile development programmes which Iran will never do.

    It is most unlikely that a continuation of sanctions or even a threat of war will prompt Iran to renounce what it describes as its ‘inalienable right’ to enrich uranium.

    There is also an element of security and also logic involved with Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Even direct negotiations between the United States and Iran will not shift Iran an iota from its determination to acquire nuclear weapons. Its logic is that if Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea can defy the world and get away with it, why not Iran.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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