Nuclear talks between world powers and Iran are not likely to resume until after the Islamic Republic installs its new president next month, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing two officials familiar with the schedule.
A seventh round of negotiations in Vienna is expected to convene around mid-August, said the two officials who asked not to be identified in line with diplomatic rules.
A third European attaché, who also requested to remain unidentified, said Iran was only expected to resume talks once Ebrahim Raisi has been sworn in as president early next month.
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.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned recently that time was running out to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.
"There will come a point, yes, where it will be very hard to return back to the standards set by the JCPOA," Blinken told reporters.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas last week expressed confidence that a deal to save the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran would be reached "in the coming weeks".
Moscow’s envoy to the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, told Kommersant in an interview published Monday that disagreement over how to sequence US sanctions relief and Iran’s forfeiture of nuclear capacity persist.
He said in the interview that negotiations would not resume before July 22 and suggested a longer delay was possible.
One European diplomat said delaying talks until Raisi takes office doesn’t necessarily undermine the chances for a compromise. The person noted the former judiciary chief, who’s backed by Iran’s Supreme Leader, has so far indicated he’s willing to continue pursuing a deal that would lift sanctions and put the atomic caps back in place.