European Powers Condemn Tehran’s Uranium Moves: Iran Snapshot

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

Latest developments

France, Germany and the U.K. reacted with alarm to an International Atomic Energy Agency report on Tuesday that said Iran had taken steps toward producing enriched uranium metal.

“‘This is a serious violation of Iran’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” the three countries said. “Iran has no credible civilian need for uranium metal R&D and production, which are a key step in the development of a nuclear weapon.”

Iran told the IAEA the process was to develop fuel for a research reactor.

No date has been set for the continuation of negotiations in Vienna for a revival of the JCPOA, a 2015 pact that saw Iran limit its atomic activities in return for an easing of U.S. sanctions, including on oil exports.

Russia said the negotiations are unlikely to restart by July 15, the anniversary of the accord, from which the U.S. withdrew in 2018. Moscow said Iran needs more time to prepare for a seventh round of talks because of its presidential election last month.

Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi won the vote and will come to power mid-August.

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Oil

Oil rose early on Wednesday, with Brent climbing 0.4% to $74.80 a barrel. Investors are tracking the impasse between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that’s stymied efforts to raise OPEC+ production amid a resurgence in demand as major economies reopen from the coronavirus pandemic.

As nuclear talks drag on, traders are pushing back their forecasts for when Iran’s oil might re-enter global markets. The Islamic Republic was exporting roughly 2 million barrels a day before Donald Trump removed the U.S. from the 2015 accord in mid-2018 and tightened sanctions.

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