US Remains 'Open' to Reviving Iran Nuclear Pact

Copyright © 2023 Energy Intelligence Group All rights reserved. Unauthorized access or electronic forwarding, even for internal use, is prohibited.

The US remains open to returning to the 2015 international agreement that led to a surge in Iran's oil exports, according to Washington's top negotiator, but he cautioned that the position of the new government in Tehran is not yet clear. "What we're saying is: it's possible. It's something that we want to achieve, and if Iran wants it … we're open," Robert Malley told the US-funded Radio Farda, which broadcasts to Iran in Persian. He spoke in English. Malley said progress was made during six rounds of indirect negotiations with Iran earlier this year aimed at bringing both countries back into compliance with the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (OD Jun.28'21). But he added that the two countries "hadn't closed all the gaps ... and if Iran comes back with a more hardline position, it's going to be very difficult to close." Tough US sanctions have left Iran struggling to export oil, even though President Ebrahim Raisi said at the weekend that the country has "many possibilities" for selling its output (OD Aug.23'21). New Oil Minister Confirmed Iran's parliament on Wednesday confirmed Javad Owji, an industry technocrat, to serve as the country's new oil minister. Most of Raisi's other nominees for cabinet posts were also confirmed (IOD Aug.11'21). If a deal is struck, Owji would be tasked with bringing Iranian oil back to market quickly. But it's not at all clear that will happen. While Raisi has said that Iranian officials want to return to negotiations, US officials are wary that Iran will step up its demands. Iran has sought guarantees that the US will not simply walk away from the deal again, as it did under former President Donald Trump. But Malley said such guarantees are not possible without a treaty-like arrangement. "That is not the JCPOA. And if Iran is going to ask for more things, the US is going to ask for more things," he said. Malley also indicated that time is running out on diplomacy as Iran continues to advance its nuclear program without the constraints it accepted under the JCPOA. "The point will come where Iran's nuclear advances will be such that it will no longer be possible to simply rewind the clock and come back to the JCPOA," Malley said. "We hope we don't reach that point but if we do reach that point then we'll have to be talking about a different deal, and we know how difficult that will be." Iran's oil exports were curtailed by international sanctions until the JCPOA was signed during the administration of President Barack Obama. They rose swiftly after the agreement took effect, but collapsed again after the US reinstated unilateral sanctions against Iran during the Trump administration. Emily Meredith, Washington

Security Risk , Sanctions
Wanda Ad #2 (article footer)
Opec-plus' complex agreement aims to regain control of a market that has been driven recently by sentiment more than fundamentals.
Mon, Jun 5, 2023
Forecasts see stellar growth in oil consumption in the second half of the year, driven primarily by China.
Tue, Jun 6, 2023
Warming ties between Iran and its Gulf neighbors are helping de-escalate regional tensions. But US sanctions and nuclear jitters risk spoiling the party.
Thu, Jun 1, 2023