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The United States is ready to make concessions on some “difficult issues” in the Iran nuclear talks, the lead U.S. negotiator in the talks, Robert Malley, has said as quoted by Bloomberg.
According to the latest comments by Malley, the U.S. has recognized Iran’s shift to a more hardline political course but there is still hope for the nuclear deal if Iran returns to the negotiating table with “a realistic approach”.
Malley’s remarks should spark optimism not in themselves but also because they are a marked departure from earlier comments, made in early August, when the top U.S. negotiator expressed “increasing doubts” a deal would be possible to clinch.
The future of millions of oil barrels in exports from Iran is at stake in these negotiations. Iran’s oil production last year fell to the lowest in four decades under the twin pressure of U.S. sanctions and the pandemic but if it manages to agree on its nuclear program with the United States, it would be free to ramp up as fast as it can, which is exactly what Tehran has indicated it planned to do.
As of 2020, Iran was producing less than 1 million bpd of crude, per calculations of the Energy Information Administration. This compared with 2.6 million bpd before the U.S. pulled out of the so-called nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that sought to eliminate the possibility of Iran becoming a nuclear power.
The latest round of talks between Iran and the U.S. ended in June and the next round is expected to begin next month once the new government in Tehran takes over. Despite Malley’s readiness to compromise, the talks may still break down: Israel’s PM Naftali Bennett who is visiting Washington this week plans to press President Biden to drop the negotiations with Iran.
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.