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Iran Nuclear Talks Paused

The talks about the United States and Iran returning to the 2015 nuclear deal that would allow the Islamic Republic to legitimately export its oil have been paused "due to external factors," a top EU official said on Friday.

The suspension of the talks comes at a time when the oil market desperately needs more oil—including the Iranian barrels—after Russia's invasion of Ukraine roiled markets, rendering a large part of Russian oil now unsellable in Europe due to traders and buyers "self-sanctioning."

The Russian war in Ukraine has also complicated the final-stage talks about reviving the nuclear deal, considering the high tension between Russia and the United States and its European allies, all of which are part of those talks, although the U.S. is not directly talking to Iran.

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"A pause in #ViennaTalks is needed, due to external factors. A final text is essentially ready and on the table. As coordinator, I will, with my team, continue to be in touch with all #JCPOA participants and the U.S. to overcome the current situation and to close the agreement," Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, tweeted on Friday.

A deal on Iran was reportedly "imminent" as of last week, but it is now muddled with the Russian war in Ukraine. As part of the negotiations for reviving the 2015 agreement, Moscow has reportedly made last-minute demands that the sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine do not impede its trade with Iran. 

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As of Thursday, both the U.S. and Iran signaled there were hard issues remaining to be solved.

Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, tweeted on Thursday:

"US approach to Iran's principled demands, coupled with its unreasonable offers and unjustified pressure to hastily reach an agreement, show that US isn't interested in a strong deal that would satisfy both parties. Absent US political decision, the talks get knottier by the hour."

In the absence of a speedy Iranian deal, the oil market could see a large deficit and spiking volatile oil prices in the short term due to Russia's struggles to sell its oil.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Emir S on March 12 2022 said:
    Very helpful comments. I am also under impression that Iran will use current situation to its own good.
  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 11 2022 said:
    Of recent days rumours have been circulating that a new nuclear deal between Iran and the United States is very close.

    But since the start of the Iran nuclear negotiations in Vienna last year I have been saying that a lifting of US sanctions against Iran will never see the light of day soon or ever. The reason is that the positions of the United States and Iran are irreconcilable.

    The only deal Iran will accept is one on its own terms meaning a lifting of all US sanctions against it with no new limitations on its nuclear and ballistic missile development programmes. This is something the United States egged by Israel can’t accept.

    Iranian negotiators are aware that the United States is in a hurry to reach a deal so as to focus all its energies on China and the evolving Ukraine crisis. Therefore, they will drag their feet to extract major concessions from the United States.

    If in the very unthinkable event that a deal is reached, the maximum additional oil Iran can initially bring to the global oil market is some 650,000 b/d being the difference between pre-sanctions and post-sanctions Iranian crude oil exports.

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

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