Iran Makes Maximalist Demands As Vienna Nuclear Talks Continue

Tehran- Iran has struck a maximalist tone after just one day of restarted talks in Vienna over its tattered nuclear deal.

Speaking to Iranian state television on Tuesday, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri suggested everything discussed in previous rounds of diplomacy could be renegotiated.

Bagheri referred to the previous rounds of talks only as a “draft.”

“Drafts are subject to negotiation. Therefore nothing is agreed on unless everything has been agreed on,” he said.

“On that basis, all discussions that took place in the six rounds are summarised and are subject to negotiations. This was admitted by all parties in today’s meeting as well.”

That directly contradicted comments on Monday made by the European Union diplomat leading the talks.

“The Iranian delegation…have accepted that the work done over the six first rounds is a good basis to build our work ahead, so no point in going back,” Enrique Mora said then.

Iranian sanctions

Iran’s maximalist tone may represent an opening gambit by new hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi or signal serious trouble for those hoping to restore the 2015 deal.

Another state TV segment saw Bagheri in Vienna also saying Iran demanded a “guarantee by American not to impose new sanctions” or not re-impose previously lifted sanctions.

Eslami, speaking to Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, reiterated that demand.

“The talks (in Vienna) are about return of the US to the deal and they have to lift all sanctions and this should be in practice and verifiable,” he said. He did not elaborate.

Talks in Vienna resumed Monday after an over five-month hiatus as Raisi took power.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s top representative to the talks, tweeted on Tuesday that the resumption of negotiations was “quite successful.”

Meanwhile French President Emmanuel Macron called on Raisi in a phone conversation to return to fulfilling Tehran’s obligations under the 2015 nuclear deal “without delay.”

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