While Republicans have denounced Russia leading the talks with Iran for a new nuclear deal, it is being reported Russia’s demand for sanctions protections has put talks on the verge of collapse.
Just days after reports a deal was close, diplomats are now signaling talks for a rewritten Iran nuclear deal have stalled due to Russia’s demand for sanctions protections amid the world response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Politico reported Thursday night.
“The talks seem to have stalled, primarily because of Russian demands,” International Crisis Group analyst Ali Vaez told Politico.
With its economy struggling under sanctions, Russian negotiators have sought an 11th-hour exemption for Russian business with Iran from European Union and United States sanctions against the war.
Russia is leading talks with Iran, along with diplomats from China, France, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S., but those other parties are balking at the demand for sanctions relief, according to Politico.
An official from the West parties told Politico the accommodation cannot be made in talks that were designed to pull the U.S. and Iran back into the deal — not to give Russia more trade leverage.
“We’ve made it very clear,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Thursday, “that the new Russia-related sanctions are wholly unrelated to the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action].”
“We also have no intention of offering Russia anything new or specific as it relates to the sanctions.”
The old Iran nuclear deal was called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action under former President Barack Obama’s administration when current President Joe Biden was vice president. Many of the Obama administration officials are now working in the Biden administration.
Former President Donald Trump had decertified the deal with Iran because Iran was merely supposed to have paused its development of nuclear capability; instead, Iran had kept up its enrichment of uranium and was moving closer to becoming a full nuclear power, according to the Trump administration.