| 14 June 2021, Monday | النسخة العربية

Iran says nuclear talks not at impasse, but difficult issues remain

The Iranian spokesperson said on Tuesday denies that negotiations are standing, that the barriers to the revival of its nuclear 2015 agreement with world powers are complicated, but not insurmountable.

Since April, the Islamic Republic and six powers have been negotiating in Vienna to develop measures for nuclear activities and sanctions for the resumption of the pact by Tehran and Washington respectively.

Two Western diplomats and an Iranian official said the talks would likely pause on Thursday for consultations in respective capitals, though it remained unclear if they would resume before Iran’s June 18 presidential election, in which a prominent hardliner is tipped to replace the pragmatist incumbent.

“There is no impasse in the Vienna talks,” Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference streamed live by a state-run website.

“Negotiations have reached a stage where a few key issues need to be decided, and these issues require the proper attention, perfectionism and time.”

Since former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal three years ago and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran has embarked on counter-measures, including rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, a potential pathway to nuclear bombs.

“It is natural that due to the complexities created by the Trump administration’s numerous sanctions and Iran’s measures…, many details need to be considered, but none of these obstacles are insurmountable,” Rabiei added.

On Monday, Iran’s nuclear negotiator expressed doubt that the current round of talks would be the final one.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said Washington will return to the pact if Tehran first resumes compliance with its strict limits on uranium enrichment.

Separately, France, one of the signatories to the deal, voiced concern after a report from the U.N. nuclear watchdog which showed on Monday that Iran had failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites.

Speaker of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency (IAEA). French Foreign Minister Agnes von der Muhll, who asked whether Paris wanted to resuscitate the resolution that criticized Iran for failing to clarify the uranium matter, said: “We call strongly on Iran to give such answers as soon as possible.”

Three months ago, England, France and Germany discarded a U.S.-backed plan to criticize Iran for failing to fully explain the origin of the particles from the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Gobernators. The three of them ended up in a fresh dialog with Iran with IAEA Chef Rafael Grossi.