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Moscow is skeptical about the prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran on sanctions

Moscow is skeptical about the prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran on sanctions

Moscow is demanding “written guarantees” from the United States that the sanctions will not affect Russia’s rights under the nuclear deal.

According to its own statements, Russia may not agree to an agreement with Iran in the Vienna nuclear negotiations due to international sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that the agreement with Iran is nearing completion. However, “recently problems have arisen from the point of view of Russian interests.”

Lavrov referred to “a torrent of harsh sanctions launched by the West because of the conflict in Ukraine.” Moscow now needs “written guarantees” from the United States that the sanctions will not affect Russia’s rights under the nuclear deal. It concerns “unconstrained trade, economic and investment cooperation as well as military-technical cooperation with Iran”.

Signs of an impending agreement

Several weeks ago, there were signs of an early agreement in the negotiations in Vienna over the nuclear program with Iran. In 2018, under President Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed its economic sanctions on Tehran. After that, Iran gradually withdrew from the agreement and boosted its nuclear program. Under new US President Joe Biden, talks about a new agreement have begun again. The deal aims to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons program while allowing it to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Russia is a major investor in Iran’s nuclear program.

With the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran wants to remove remaining differences over its nuclear program. “We have decided to provide the IAEA with the necessary documents by June of this year,” Iranian nuclear director Mohammad Eslami said on Saturday at a joint press conference with International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi in Tehran. The nuclear president and vice president stressed that this step should allow for constructive and professional cooperation between Iran and the United Nations nuclear agency in the future.

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Islami did not provide details of the documents. According to observers, the IAEA is likely to have renewed access to nuclear facilities, IAEA cameras and classified intelligence reports about secret nuclear activities in Iran. Previously, Iran had asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to stop reviewing Western and Israeli intelligence reports on alleged nuclear weapons facilities and focus only on technical inspections.

Grossi explained that the IAEA’s job is to investigate such matters, regardless of the source. “Without Iran’s cooperation in this regard, it will also be difficult to achieve an agreement in the nuclear negotiations,” said the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Tehran. In the ongoing negotiations in Vienna to restore the Vienna Nuclear Agreement, this issue was considered one of the last sticking points before a final agreement was reached.

Schallenberg: “Vienna is definitely ready as a meeting place”

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) did not want to confirm reports Friday in Brussels that Lavrov might soon come to the federal capital due to the Iran talks. He said that in any case, he would welcome his Russian counterpart in Vienna in the framework of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. “I heard they are along the house.” “And of course, even if the Russian fellow comes to Vienna as part of these negotiations, he will also be welcomed.” Vienna is certainly ready as a meeting place.”

(APA / AFP / dpa)