- “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” says US
- Germany says major obstacles to deal remain
- Negotiations adjourned for consultations
DUBAI / BERLIN, June 23 (Reuters) – Iran said on Wednesday that the United States had agreed to lift all sanctions on Iranian oil and shipping, but Washington said “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed ”in talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The words of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff, Mahmoud Vaezi, echoed previous assertions by officials of the Rouhani pragmatic camp that Washington is ready to make major concessions during the Vienna nuclear talks that began in April.
The indirect talks were postponed Sunday for consultations in capitals, two days after a presidential election was held in Iran, which was won by hard-line Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian justice chief subject to US sanctions. Raisi is to replace Rouhani in August.
Iran reached an agreement with the great powers in 2015 to curb its uranium enrichment program, a possible route to nuclear weapons, in exchange for the lifting of US, European and UN sanctions.
Then-US President Donald Trump scrapped the deal in 2018 and reimposed tough sanctions, prompting Tehran to start violating some of the nuclear limits in 2019 while sticking to its stance that it does not. had no ambitions for nuclear weapons.
US President Joe Biden aims to restore the deal, but the parties disagree on what action to take and when, key issues being what nuclear limits Tehran will accept and what sanctions Washington will remove.
“An agreement has been reached to remove all insurance, oil and transportation sanctions that have been imposed by Trump,” Vaezi said, quoted by Iranian state media.
While acknowledging that negotiators sometimes write drafts, the US State Department said there would be no deal until all issues were resolved.
“During negotiations of this complexity, negotiators try to draft a text that captures the main issues, but again, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” said a spokesperson for the department. State on condition of anonymity.
Echoing Western and Iranian negotiators, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said significant obstacles remained. Read more
“We are making progress but there are still some nuts to crack,” Maas said at a press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Maas said a deal was possible even after the election of Raisi, a staunch critic of the West.
Young French Foreign Minister Franck Riester told lawmakers it was time to reach an agreement and suggested it could not be reached quickly.
“Difficult decisions will have to be made in the days or weeks to come if these negotiations do not advance. “
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday there was “still a fair distance to go.”
Iranian and Western officials say Raisi’s rise to power is unlikely to change Iran’s negotiating position, as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei already has the final say.
Vaezi also said Washington has agreed to remove certain Iranian figures from the blacklist.
“Approximately 1,040 Trump-era sanctions will be lifted under the agreement. It was also agreed to lift certain sanctions against individuals and members of the inner circle of the Supreme Leader. “
The State Department has not commented directly on this.
Some Iranian officials have suggested that Tehran might prefer a deal before Raisi takes office to give him a clean slate and allow him to avoid blame if problems arise.
Vaezi also said that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council will decide whether or not to extend its nuclear site monitoring agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency after it expires on June 24. read more
Iran and the IAEA reached a three-month deal in February to cushion the blow of Tehran’s decision – another response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal – to cut back its cooperation with the watchdog body of the By ending the additional surveillance measures introduced by the 2015 agreement.
Under the February deal, which on May 24 was extended by one month, the data continues to be collected under a black box-type arrangement, with the IAEA only being able to access it later. .
Reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai, Humeyra Pamuk in Berlin and John Irish in Paris Editing by Mark Heinrich
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.