Iran’s Nuclear Talks Stall

The Iran nuclear talks have hit a new roadblock

Iran has accused the United States of refusing to make necessary political decisions. A senior Iranian security official said today that the talks’ progress was becoming “more difficult,” because Western countries were only pretending to come up with initiatives. 

The indirect talks between world powers in Vienna aim to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. They resumed last week after a 10-day break and resumed in November after a five-month hiatus was prompted by the Iranian election of hardline President Ebrahim Raisi. These are the eight round of negotiations, which were once intended to be the final round. The talks include leaders from Western countries, Russia, Iran, and China. 

Delegates said the talks have made limited progress thus far. Iran accused the U.S. of refusing to entrench the agreement in international law or to broaden the scope of what economic sanctions would be lifted. 

Iran’s national security council’s hardline secretary, Ali Shamkhani, said that the progress was becoming more and more difficult, and that the U.S. continues to propose new initiatives in order to evade commitments. 

Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Said Khatibzadeh said that he had been assured by Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri that the position was neither “one of flowers and nightingales,” but also it was not a position “of rocks and thorns.” He said the onus remains on the United States to accept Iran’s terms. 

But Khatibzadeh said that the fact Iran is still there for the talks, despite former president Donal Trump pulling the United States of the deal in 2018, shows that the country is committed to the deal. 

Experts say that the Ukraine crisis is playing a role in the ongoing talks. Russia and the U.S. both are very involved in the ongoing Ukraine crisis, and some warn that Biden is distracted by the Ukraine crisis and the Iranian talks have taken a backseat to Ukraine.

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