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Iran Nuclear Talks Head For Crucial Weekend Discussions

The talks about bringing Iran and the United States back to the so-called Iranian nuclear deal will resume on Saturday with divergences remaining, in what would be the last attempt of the world powers to revive the agreement before the presidential election in Iran on June 18.

The oil market is watching carefully the talks in Vienna for any sign of progress or setback as a possible indication of a timeline of when Iranian oil could legitimately return to customers. The U.S. is expected to lift the sanctions on Iranian oil exports if an agreement is reached.  

“The next meeting of the Joint Commission of #JCPOA will be held this weekend. It will mark the beginning of the sixth round of the #ViennaTalks on restoration of the nuclear deal. Will it be the final round? Nobody knows but all negotiators hope so,” Mikhail Ulyanov, who leads the Russian delegation at the talks, tweeted on Friday.

In recent weeks, reports have had it that the parties preferred to nail a deal ahead of the June 18 presidential election in Iran. Although progress on some issues has been made, positions remain distant on others.

On Tuesday, comments from Iran signaled that a deal may not be announced before the presidential vote. The course Iran is taking in the talks will not change after the presidential vote because the policy is set by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, as carried by Reuters.

On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said that there were still “big issues” to be resolved in the talks, as carried by Bloomberg.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who under President Obama led the U.S. negotiating team that reached the original deal in 2015, said on Wednesday that “I think there’s been a lot of progress made, but, out of my own experience, until the last detail is nailed down, and I mean nailed down, we will not know if we have an agreement.”   

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 12 2021 said:
    Read my lips to borrow a famous quote from the late former US President George HW Bush. US sanctions on Iran aren’t going to be lifted even two years from now or ever. The reason is that the positions of the United States and Iran are irreconcilable.

    Even in the very unthinkable possibility that an agreement has been reached before the Iranian presidential election on the 18th of June, it won’t change the outcome of the elections since supporters of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are headed for a landslide victory.

    The lifting of sanctions on three Iranian officials is of no significance whatsoever. For Iran, only a total lifting of sanctions could entice it to have direct negotiations with the United States over the nuclear deal.

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

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