It’s been well over a month since the last round of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna – a key month which included a new Iranian president installed, hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi.
Things have stalled long enough that it remains an open question on whether or not negotiations toward a restored JCPOA nuclear deal with the West, which involves Washington and Tehran talking indirectly, will resume at all. However on Monday Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh attempted to lay all doubts to rest: “We will definitely continue the negotiations,” Khatibzadeh said according to state media.
He said the Iranian side plans to initiate talks again “soon” but without specifying date, after talks have been on hold since June 20th. The talks had been suspended reportedly by the Iranian side pending the entry into office of the newly elected president.
Over the weekend President Raisi held a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron in which the two discussed resuming Vienna talks. And just prior to this, Raisi had warned against more sanctions coming from the West:
On September 4, Raisi told state television that his government is “pursuing outcome-oriented negotiations” as a diplomatic way to resolve the dispute over its nuclear program. But these should take place without any “pressure” from Western countries, he warned.
Other major pitfalls threatening to derail the resumption of talks include the recent meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Biden at the White House.
Iran formally charged the two with ‘illegally threatening’ the Islamic Republic with military attack, after a joint US-Israeli statement indicated that that if “diplomacy fails” the White House will “turn to other options.”
An Iranian statement via the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, condemned Biden’s statement as follows: “The emphasis on using ‘other options’ against [Iran] amounts to threatening another country illegally and establishes Iran’s right to reciprocate… against ‘available options,'” he said.