Iran Nuclear Talks: New False Hopes?

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: September 20, 2022; 08:40 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Vienna nuclear talks regarding the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are entering the next round. While statements and papers are being bounced between parties, many ask themselves if there will be a solution soon.

Vienna's Coburg Palace hosts the Iran nuclear talks. / Picture: © Wikipedia / Buchhändler

Germany, Great Britain, France, China, Russia, Iran and the USA resumed nuclear talks in Vienna at the beginning of August after months of interruption. After several days of deliberations with all sides, the EU presented a compromise text in early August, as reported by The U.S. and Iran have exchanged counterproposals since then, but prospects for a consensus document are dim.

Iran's president Ibrahim Raisi stated that there is no benefit in the negotiations with the U.S., according to Politico. The government of Iran accuses the U.S. of delaying the revival of the 2015 international nuclear agreement.

The U.S. has denied Iran's accusations. But the West rather accuses Iran of not taking its conditions seriously and continuing to work on its nuclear weapons program regardless of anything.

Iran hindering the IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency accused Iran of preventing international observers from working. According to IAEA Director-General, the watchdogs found "traces of uranium at places that were never declared and that were never supposed to have any nuclear activity." Iran accuses therefor the IAEA of misusing its authority, according to Politico.

Tehran is unwilling to explain the traces of nuclear material found at the mentioned sites. The Agency remains prepared to work with Iran again without delay to address these issues. However, the IAEA also noted that currently, Iran is not ready to take its obligations seriously.

The West demands a clear explanation from Iran, according to Politico. This prevention of further talks only created new false hopes. The points of contention within the negotiations are numerous and only a few have been agreed upon so far.

During the past few months, the parties in Vienna worked out the draft text of a renewed JCPOA in the ornate meeting rooms of Vienna's Coburg Palace, where they inscribed the phrase "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed" on the front page, as described by the NGO International Crisis Group.

There has been no agreement between Iran and the U.S. on key issues that could potentially sink the deal. The remaining gaps might still be bridged in time, according to the International Crisis Group. As a result, it is up to both parties to salvage something from an otherwise hopeless situation.


International Crisis Group