Tehran Says Nuclear Talks May Go Past August: Iran Snapshot

Here is a snapshot of what’s happening with Iran nuclear talks and energy markets.

Latest Developments

Iran raised the possibility that talks to rescue its nuclear deal with world powers could extend beyond August, when President Hassan Rouhani is set to be replaced by a hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi.

Diplomats ended their latest round of negotiations in Vienna on Sunday and haven’t said when they’ll reconvene. They are trying to restore a 2015 agreement that limited Iran’s atomic activities in return for the easing of U.S. sanctions.

“If no deal is reached by end of the Rouhani government, then the Raisi government will be in charge” of the negotiations, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters on Tuesday.

Envoys have gone back to their capitals.

“The task is to make full use of this break to ensure that all participants get final political instructions on the remaining controversial issues,” the head of Russia’s delegation, Mikhail Ulyanov, said in a tweet.

On Monday, Raisi demanded an end to the U.S sanctions in his first speech since winning Friday’s election. But he also signaled he will preserve any nuclear deal that’s struck.

European diplomats have voiced concern about the June 24 expiry of a separate nuclear inspections pact between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. While the EU expects an extension, that’s still to be confirmed.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that Iran’s election results shouldn’t impact a future round of nuclear talks in Vienna because it remains in the U.S. national interest to make sure that Iran is “permanently and verifiably” prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons. He added that the U.S. is concerned about Iran’s missile activities and has “additional tools outside the nuclear deal” to address those concerns.

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Oil

Brent oil hit $75 a barrel for the first time in more than two years on Tuesday, but later reversed its gains as OPEC+ discussed whether to boost production. Russia is considering pushing the group to ease a global supply deficit, according to officials familiar with the matter.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are holding back several millions of barrels a day from the market. Iran’s exports have plunged from 2 million barrels a day to barely anything since 2018, when former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 accord and tightened sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Iran is exempt from OPEC+ quotas due to the sanctions.

Agenda

June 24: A temporary monitoring pact with inspectors from the IAEA expires, something which could complicate efforts to seal the nuclear deal. However Iran and the IAEA are already in talks and the agreement is expected to be extended, European Union deputy foreign policy chief Enrique Mora has said.

July 1: OPEC+ holds its next full meeting. Iran’s position may be a key talking point, as it will complicate the group’s decision over whether or not to raise output beyond July.

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