Iran won't resume nuclear talks until Raisi takes over

Diplomatic source: Iran not prepared to resume negotiations on 2015 nuclear deal until Ebrahim Raisi's administration has begun.

Elad Benari ,

Ebrahim Raisi
Ebrahim Raisi
Reuters/Majid Asgaripour/WANA

Iran is not prepared to resume negotiations on coming back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal until Iranian President-elect Ebrahim Raisi's administration has begun, a diplomatic source told Reuters on Wednesday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Iran had conveyed this to European officials acting as interlocutors in the indirect US-Iranian negotiations.

The current thinking, added the source, is that the Vienna talks will not resume before mid-August.

"They are not prepared to come back before the new government," said the source, saying it was not clear whether this meant until Raisi formally takes over on August 5 or until his government is in place.

"We are now talking probably not before mid-August," added the source.

The comments are in line with a report on Tuesday that the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran are not likely to resume until after the Islamic Republic installs its new president.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, but has been holding indirect talks with the Biden administration on a return to the agreement.

Iran has insisted on a removal of all sanctions imposed on it, while the Biden administration has insisted that some will remain if they were imposed over other concerns, including human rights and Iran's support for extremist movements.

A US State Department spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that Iran had asked for more time because of its presidential transition.

"We were prepared to continue negotiating but the Iranians requested more time to deal with their presidential transition," said the spokesperson, according to Reuters.

"When Iran is done with its process, we are prepared to plan our return to Vienna to continue with our talks," she 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."

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday that the United States will not impose a deadline on a seventh round of talks with Iran, adding that Tehran can determine when talks will resume.



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