The Russian and Iranian delegations in the Vienna talks meeting on March 3, days before talks stalled

The Russian and Iranian delegations in the Vienna talks meeting on March 3, days before talks stalled

Tehran Commentators Mull Fate Of Iran Nuclear Negotiations


The Rouydad website in Tehran has warned that failure in Iran nuclear talks would increase regional and international tensions and perhaps lead to war.

The website, which takes a centrist political position, argued Iran faced a stark choice between reviving the deal – the JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – or announcing its death.

The suspension in March of Iran’s year-long negotiations with world powers in Vienna coincided with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which complicated the situation. There have been no subsequent signs of rapprochement between the United States and Iran.

In the latest round of exchanges, the US State Department Spokesman Ned Price blamed the talks’ suspension on Tehran raising demands beyond the JCPOA. Iran has long argued that sanctions introduced by President Donald Trump – no matter whether under rubrics of ‘human rights’ or ‘terrorism’ – were designed to stymie subsequent efforts to revive the JCPOA, from which Trump withdrew the US in 2018.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said the Biden Administration's inaction has left diplomacy in suspended animation, and that agreement over reviving the JCPOA was a simple matter of all parties honoring commitments.

With the US and the three European JCPOA signatories considering a resolution at next week’s IAEA board critical of Iran for failing to satisfy the agency over its pre-2003 nuclear work, China Thursday said such a move would undermine JCPOA negotiations. Qatar and Oman have been trying to mediate.

Iran Diplomacy website suggested that with the Vienna talks suspended, the US, France, Germany, and the United States might persuade the 35-member IAEA board “to make a political decision and issue a resolution that would send Iran's case to the UNSC [United Nations Security Council]."

‘Technical,’ and ‘political’

Qasem Mohebali, a former Iranian diplomat, told Nameh News website, that a report from IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi on the pre-2003 work, which leaked May 30, was ‘technical’ whereas any decision by the UNSC would be political. In very different circumstances in 2005-6, Iran’s expansion of its nuclear program led to a referral from the IAEA to the UNSC, which imposed multilateral sanctions with the support of both Russia and China.

Mohebali said that any IAEA board decision would be made purely on votes cast by the 35 member states, and that the outcome “depends on how US and Europe can garner support for their idea.”

Political commentator Javad Arianmanesh told Nameh News that the JCPOA was likely to fall aside. " In that case, things can become more difficult for Iran," he said. Arianmanesh argued “the most important obstacle on the way of any settlement" was the disagreement between Tehran and Washington over the US listing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a ‘foreign terrorist organization.’

Arianmanesh argued that the “fate of the country’s economy” depended on lifting US sanctions, and that “the longer the suspension of the talks continues” the more difficult “everything” would be for Iran.

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