Inspection Deadline Day as U.S. Readies New Talks: Iran Snapshot

Bookmark

Here is a snapshot of what’s happening in Iran, the status of nuclear talks and energy markets.

Latest Developments

U.S. diplomats are prepared to return to Vienna for a seventh round of indirect talks with Iran on re-entering the 2015 nuclear deal, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

The team, led by President Joe Biden’s Iran envoy Robert Malley, is ready to negotiate as soon as next week, though that date might be pushed back, according to the official. Iran hasn’t said when it wants to reconvene.

Iranian officials said on Wednesday they’re haggling with Washington over sanctions that predated the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the accord in 2018. Iran says the U.S. has agreed in principle to lift all sanctions reimposed or added by Donald Trump after he exited the deal, including on the Islamic Republic’s oil sector. But broader trade penalties on Iran’s financial sector that weren’t ended under the 2015 pact are still being debated.

The fate of the Vienna talks could be impacted by whether a temporary atomic-monitoring pact between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency is extended. The agreement expires on Thursday and Iran is yet to announce its decision. Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general of the IAEA, has warned for weeks that a failure to prolong the pact would degrade the international community’s understanding of Iran’s nuclear program.

Latest coverage

Oil

Oil was steady in Asian trading, with Brent just over $75 a barrel. Crude prices extended this year’s gains on Wednesday as shrinking stockpiles in the U.S. and China added to bullish sentiment around the global demand recovery.

Gasoline inventories in the U.S. unexpectedly fell last week, while nationwide crude supplies dropped for a fifth week, the longest run since January. Chinese stockpiles have also shrunk to the lowest this year.

The OPEC+ cartel is scheduled to meet next week to discuss its production policy and some nations, most notably Russia, may push for an output increase. A rise in crude flows from Iran is set to be delayed as nuclear talks drag on. Still, the uncertainty is complicating OPEC+’s calculations.

Iran’s exports have plunged from 2 million barrels a day to barely anything since Trump’s withdrawal and tightening of sanctions in 2018. Iran is exempt from OPEC+ quotas because of those U.S. penalties.

Agenda

June 24: A temporary monitoring pact with inspectors from the IAEA expires, something which could complicate efforts to seal the nuclear deal. Iran and the IAEA are in talks about an extension.

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.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.