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Iran and US seek ‘new chapter’ in Vienna nuclear deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the National Combat Commission on Coronavirus (COVID-19) meeting in Tehran, Iran on November 21, 2020.

Iranian President handout | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The United States and Iran will resume talks on Friday to restore trust and connect what Washington calls “the most important thing in the world.”

; “A huge and profound difference” about how they salvaged their failed nuclear deal.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday that the first talks with the United States and world powers in Vienna to help the deal were “a success” that opened up a new chapter. “In his memorandum of agreement Official website

The two countries described the indirect talks on Tuesday as “Useful steps” and “constructive” even if the representatives are not meeting face-to-face. The authorities opted to use the signatory of the European agreement instead to act as an intermediary.

“We are not optimistic or pessimistic about the outcome of this conference. But we are sure we are on the right track, ”said Ali Rabiei, spokesman for the Iranian government.“ Obviously the implementation of this agreement will be completed within the next few weeks, ”he added.

Tehran is taking a approach. “All or nothing” in talks wants Washington to guarantee a complete lift of Trump-era sanctions aimed at shrinking value-building activities. The Iranian side has also come under pressure with time, with a presidential election scheduled for June this year that will remove President Rouhani and Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif from office.

However, Washington is looking for a solution. “Follow for compliance” by President Joe Biden will judge. It is a “one-sided stance” but remains open to exploration of how the United States will resume its own accord.

The early economic olive branch appeared to have failed, with Iran describing a proposal from the United States to release $ 1 billion worth of frozen oil in exchange for Iran’s uranium enrichment program “absurd”.

“The first problem these negotiations have to resolve is a fundamental disconnect,” Kirsten Fontenrose of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Wednesday.

“Until you square that circle, you can’t go anywhere,” she said.

With talks in Vienna scheduled to resume on Friday, two working groups have been set up to frame the talks. The first group focused on the issue of American sanctions imposed by the Trump administration after it exited the original deal in 2018.

A second group is exploring ways to bring Iran back to meeting the restrictions imposed by the original JCPOA on enrichment and hoarding of enriched uranium. Iran repeatedly violated the terms of the deal, raising concerns among European and world signatories and sparking tensions between its Middle Eastern neighbors.

Friday talks can provide a platform for more constructive talks or a full showdown. In the past, Iran used the first week of April to celebrate. “Nuclear Technology Day”, which showcases the country’s nuclear achievements. The incident was delayed last year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Today is an opportunity for people to see that over the years, despite the economic pressures, great advances and achievements have been made in the country’s nuclear technology,” said President Rouhani.

Effect of oil

Oil prices recover slightly at the conclusion of the preliminary negotiations. Analysts said the new development could result in a drop in crude if it increases the prospect of much of Iran’s oil exports back to the market.

“If I sat at the oil trading table, I would have thought I was in a fairly safe place because it seemed like this would continue as it is,” Fontenrose said.

“We are not going to stop very much because we are not close to getting Iranian oil back on the market and we don’t see Iran or the Gulf taking any steps that will affect the energy flow,” she added.

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