Iran Nuclear Talks Set to Extend Beyond Election

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With Iran's presidential election just days away, the chances of Tehran and Washington reaching a deal to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement before the Jun. 18 vote have become slim. When negotiations kicked off in April with the goal of reviving the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), there were expectations in some quarters that an agreement could be reached before the election in which President Hassan Rouhani is expected to be replaced by a hard-line successor (IOD May17'21). But barring a last-minute surprise, that is no longer likely to happen. "This round of nuclear talks in Vienna on the JCPOA is unlikely to be the last one and the US will have to make its own decisions. The US should know that it is not in an equal position with Iran and the P4+1," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Monday. P4+1 is a reference to the other signatories of the 2015 agreement -- China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK. Khatibzadeh's comments echoed a Twitter post on Sunday from Russia's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mikhail Ulyanov. Ulyanov said "it is almost for sure that we will not be able to clean up the draft final document by the day of the Presidential elections in Iran (June 18). Nevertheless an agreement is within reach." No Deadline for Talks

Security Risk , Sanctions
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