Buenos Aires Hours | Iran nuclear talks ‘uncomfortable’ pause, says IAEA chief Grossi


A pause in negotiations to save Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers has placed the International Atomic Energy Agency in an “awkward position,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said on Monday .

An Iranian official said on Saturday that talks in Vienna would not resume until a new government takes office in August, following last month’s presidential elections won by ultra-conservative Ebrahim Raisi.

“We still have a number of questions, issues that we are trying to clarify with Iran, and we will have to wait and start over with the new team when they are in place,” Grossi told AFP in an interview. in Rio de Janeiro during an official visit to Brazil.

The announcement that the process would only resume after the takeover of Raisi “leaves us in a rather uncomfortable situation,” added the Argentinian official. “I’m talking about the agency, I don’t know about the others, but I guess they’d rather negotiate than wait.”

The Islamic Republic has been engaged since April in Vienna in indirect negotiations with the United States to relaunch its 2015 nuclear agreement.

The deal officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action offered Tehran relief from international sanctions in return for limiting its nuclear program, but was torpedoed in 2018 when former US President Donald Trump walked away. is withdrawn and reimposed the sanctions.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden has signaled he is ready to return to the deal, but his administration has also expressed growing frustration as talks drag on.

“We remain open to the continuation and ultimately to the successful completion of the JCPOA discussions in a productive manner,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington.

“We recognize, with the international community, the advantage of a mechanism which guarantees in a permanent and verifiable manner that Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon”, he declared. “We have also been clear that this offer will not be on the table indefinitely.”

Iran lobbied for all sanctions relief, but the Biden administration said it was only open to actions taken regarding its nuclear program, not other issues, including rights. human rights and support for regional activists.

A sixth round of talks concluded on June 20. They are negotiated by the European Union, which, like Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, remains in the deal.

Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani had repeatedly promised that he would get the United States to lift sanctions before the end of his term, but indicated last week that this would no longer be possible and that negotiations would not be completed until. that he does not leave his functions. Raisi will succeed Rouhani on August 5.

Ultimate political power in Iran rests with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has given the green light both to the initial nuclear deal and to efforts to revive it.

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