U.S. Sees ‘Modest Progress’ in Nuclear Talks: Iran Snapshot
(Bloomberg) -- Here is a snapshot of what’s happening with Iran, its nuclear talks and energy markets.
There has been some “modest progress” in nuclear talks, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price told a regular press briefing on Tuesday. “We hope to build on that this week.”
Talks aimed at reviving the 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers restarted on Monday in Vienna after a break. The U.S. and its European allies have increasingly warned time is running out for the agreement that would curb Iran’s nuclear work in return for an easing of sanctions, including on oil exports. Price reiterated this on Tuesday.
But he also appeared to flag a more positive trajectory. “There has been some progress relative to the beginning of December in identifying the hard issues left to be negotiated,” he said. This included how Iran returns to full compliance with its nuclear commitments under the deal and sanctions relief. Those issues are at the heart of talks in Vienna right now, he added.
The deal had been slowly moving toward a state of limbo, forcing diplomats to contemplate outcomes that fall short of fully reviving the accord. This has created one of the biggest uncertainties for the global oil market in 2022.
Oil was steady in Asian trading after OPEC and its allies agreed to a scheduled increase in production for next month, and an industry report pointed to another decline in U.S. crude inventories.
Futures in New York traded near $77 a barrel after rising 2.4% over the past two sessions. OPEC+ stuck to its plan to lift output by 400,000 barrels a day for February after it cut estimates for a surplus in the first quarter.
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