Nuclear Talks Set to Extend Beyond Election: Iran Snapshot

Here is a snapshot of what’s happening with Iran’s nuclear talks in Vienna and how they are affecting energy markets.

Latest Developments

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff said on Wednesday there will be “good news in the coming weeks” from negotiations with world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which limited Tehran’s atomic activities in return for U.S. sanctions relief. Still, France’s Foreign Ministry said “significant disagreements” remain and German officials said the negotiations had entered a “difficult phase,” suggesting a deal is far from imminent.

With Iran holding presidential elections on June 18, the talks will spill over into the political transition period that lasts until around August. Rouhani, who helped secure the original deal, is keen to see it fully restored by then. After serving two terms, he is standing down and is widely expected to be replaced by a hardline conservative, most likely cleric Ebrahim Raisi.

Latest coverage

Oil

Crude dipped on Thursday, with Brent dropping 0.3% to $74.16 a barrel, after the U.S. Federal Reserve suggested it may tighten monetary policy sooner than markets expected. That’s aiding the dollar, which normally weakens commodities.

Oil’s gained around 8% in the past month, partly because traders have priced in the Iranian talks taking longer than initially thought. If Iran and world powers reach an agreement, the U.S. is likely to ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s oil exports. They plunged from 2 million barrels a day to barely anything after then-President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear accord in 2018.

Agenda

Today: International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi to speak on Bloomberg Television at 2:30 GMT

June 18: Iran’s presidential elections Friday will determine a successor to Rouhani. Raisi is seen as wary of engaging with the U.S. Still, the decision to try to revive the accord was made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and won’t be affected by Rouhani’s departure, the Iranian government has said.

June 24: A temporary monitoring pact with international nuclear inspectors expires. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s director says an extension will be difficult if there’s no deal in the Vienna talks by then. Iran said on Wednesday it may renew the monitoring agreement if there are signs of progress with the nuclear negotiations.

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