Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, June 3, 2021

Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, June 3, 2021

Oil Rises As EU Blames Iran Over Failure Of Nuclear Talks


Oil prices rose slightly further Thursday after a brief Opec+ meeting, following an upturn Wednesday with the ending of US-Iran nuclear talks in Doha, Qatar.

Benchmark Brent crude was around $116 a barrel Thursday, with theJoint Ministerial Monitoring Committee of Opec+, led by Russia and Saudi Arabia, rubber-stamping previously agreed quotas in Vienna.

Reuters news agency Thursday cited Iranian officials claiming Tehran had felt little pressure to give way to the United States in Doha. “We are in no rush,” one said. “Our nuclear program is advancing every day. Time is on our side… we want a deal that 100 percent serves our national interests. We want a good deal.”

At the United Nations Security Council in New York, Ireland’s Byrne Nason, the facilitator of resolution 2231, by which the UNSC in 2015 endorsed the nuclear deal (the JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), reiterated the resolution’s call for “member States…to take such actions as may be appropriate to support the implementation of JCPOA.”

In a statement to the security council, the three European JCPOA signatories – France, Germany, and the United Kingdom – laid all blame for failure to restore the JCPOA with Iran, which they charged had “refused to seize this diplomatic opportunity.”

The US left the JCPOA in 2018, introducing stringent third-party sanctions that the administration of President Donald Trump said would reduce Iran’s oil exports from around 2.5 million bpd to zero. But Tehran has maintained a low level of exports, claiming its oil revenue March 21- May 21 was up 60 percent year-on-year, and has since 2019 expanded its nuclear program beyond JCPOA limits.

‘Keep working’

In announcing by tweet Wednesday the ending the US-Iran Doha talks without the “progress…hoped-for,” Enrique Mora, the senior European Union official coordinating the talks, said “we will keep working with even greater urgency to bring back on track a key deal for non-proliferation and regional stability.”

Iran said Doha had floundered because the US had failed to offer assurances it would not, after returning to the JCPOA, keep what the JCPOA called “discriminatory regulatory and procedural requirements in lieu of the sanctions.” But Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanani said Wednesday that the talks had been “held in a professional and serious atmosphere,” implying the process might continue.

The US State Department said the lack of breakthrough in Doha came from Iran “raising issues wholly unrelated to the JCPOA” and not being ready “to make a fundamental decision on whether it wants to revive the deal or bury it.” There were also suggestions that Iran had raised International Atomic Energy Agency questioning of uranium traces found at three sites used before 2003 – a matter unrelated to the JCPOA, but which led the IAEA board to pass a critical resolution earlier this month.


Washington’s overall stance was outlined to the Senate in May by Robert Malley, the US special envoy who led US negotiators in Qatar. Malley told senators Washington would continue diplomacy to restore the JCPOA as long as “we assess that the non-proliferation benefits of a return to the deal are worth the sanctions lifting we would need to provide.”

Critics of the JCPOA argue either that benefits never existed or no longer do so. In London, the Daily Telegraph reported Thursday that three former ministers would back a parliamentary motion calling for a fresh agreement that would last longer than the JCPOA, require stricter monitoring, and cover “Iran’s other destabilising [sic] activities in the region,” a reference to its various alliances.

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Chand Chand
Human Stories

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