Prospects of Iran nuclear talks grim, says political risk consultancy Eurasia group with time running out for the U.S. and Iran to restart nuclear talks, as Tehran continues to advance its nuclear program. Nuclear talks were suspended in June after six rounds of negotiations, with both Washington and Tehran unwilling to make the first move.
“Given the pace of its nuclear advancements, Iran is nearing the point at which the nuclear deal’s nonproliferation benefits will be unrecoverable without major changes to the accord, at which Tehran would balk,” the analysts said.
Why Iran nuclear talks more necessary than ever?
The deal is more urgent than ever because of irreversible moves such as Iran gaining knowledge on how to operate advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment, they said. At the same time, it has reduced the likelihood of a deal being reached.
Even if negotiations restart, the odds are stacked against an Iran nuclear deal being reached this year, Eurasia analysts Henry Rome and Jeffrey Wright said in an Oct. 4 note.
That’s in part because of Iran’s recent decision to name Bagheri Kani — deputy foreign minister for political affairs and an “ardent opponent” of the 2015 agreement — as chief negotiator of those talks, Eurasia analysts Henry Rome and Jeffrey Wright said in an Oct. 4 note.
“Bagheri Kani’s involvement indicates that while Tehran will most likely come back to negotiations in the coming months, the prospects for the talks going smoothly appear bleak in the near term,” they wrote.
Iran’s foreign minister reportedly claimed that the talks with P5+ 1 in Vienna will restart soon, but he also insisted the US release of $10 billion of Tehran’s frozen funds as a goodwill gesture.
Read more: An end of Iran nuclear deal will signal end of world peace: experts
Iranian Uranium enrichment, the concerning part
IAEA, the UN nuclear watch dog described Iran’s high uranium enrichment levels as very concerning.
A U.S. official this week said the ball is in Iran’s court when it comes at resuming Iran nuclear talks but he said that Washington can do more.
There are multiple fronts where the U.S. could be more aggressive in a “plan B” scenario, he said. It could enforce sanctions strictly, use coercive diplomacy, censure Iran at the IAEA and partner with allies to present a united front.
China is “really critical” if Tehran is to come back to negotiations in good faith, he said, noting that China has been the largest purchaser of Iranian oil before and after sanctions came into place.
“That’s something … you cannot afford to forget when talking about the Iranian economy,” he said.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have been tense, but according to Reuters, Washington pressed Beijing to reduce its dependency on Iranian crude oil.
Formally known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iran Nuclear Deal gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. withdrew from the agreement unilaterally and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Since then, Iran has been violating the deal, by increasing its uranium stockpiles and enrichment. Talks were suspended in June after six rounds of negotiations, with Washington and Tehran unwilling to make the first move. Thus, the prospects of Iran nuclear talks look grim in the wake on continued suspension of negotiations and Iran’s inflexibility.
Read more: Return of Iran nuclear deal depends on their commitment: Rouhani