Iran Blames Domestic Hardliners for Stalled Nuclear Deal Talks

Iran’s government said domestic interference was responsible for stalling President Hassan Rouhani’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, highlighting legislation that hardline lawmakers had hoped would pressure the Biden administration into swiftly removing sanctions.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday that the bill, which compelled Iran’s government to significantly expand atomic activity and limit nuclear inspections, amounted to “an unorthodox interference in executive affairs” that had complicated the negotiations with world powers in Vienna.

The nuclear diplomacy has now been delayed until President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric, takes office on Aug. 3.

“The outcome of talks can’t be adjusted to this law that oversteps the nuclear deal,” he said in a statement on the government’s official website.

Rabiei said the Supreme National Security Council had concluded that the framework for an agreement reached in the Austrian capital didn’t comply with the law ratified by Iran’s parliament last year. Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman for the council, rejected his comments in an interview with the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Rouhani’s negotiating team were still some distance from reaching a pact with world powers when talks were halted, Khosravi said.

“The bullying positions of the Americans and some Europeans” had set their efforts back, Tasnim reported him saying.

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