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Iran will not return to the negotiating table with the United States until it forms a new government, The Washington Post has reported, citing U.S. government officials.
The new government should take office in August.
The update should be welcome by all parties involved as it reduces the uncertainty about the future of the talks after the sixth round ended last month. No side had previously given any indication on when the next round would start.
"They are not prepared to come back before the new government," one unnamed diplomatic source told Reuters this week, adding, "We are now talking probably not before mid-August."
"We were prepared to continue negotiating but the Iranians requested more time to deal with their presidential transition," said a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, as quoted by Reuters.
"When Iran is done with its process, we are prepared to plan our return to Vienna to continue with our talks," the spokeswoman added. "We remain interested in seeking mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, though as (Secretary of State Antony Blinken) has made clear, this offer will not be on the table indefinitely."
At the end of last week, a Russian diplomat involved in the talks said that about 90 percent of the work on the deal was done, but the remaining 10 percent involved sensitive political matters that had yet to be settled by the negotiators. These included the possibility of the United States again withdrawing unilaterally from the deal.
Ulyanov noted that the U.S. side had said it could not provide guarantees that would not happen because of its legislation. According to him, however, the guarantee is pretty obvious: if one side, he said, begins to "misbehave", the other side would have the right to respond in kind. For instance, if the United States were to pull out of the deal, Iran would recommence enriching uranium.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.