In Brief: Iran willing to finalise, but not negotiate, new nuclear deal

Ayatollah Khamenei. Image Credit: Tasnim News, CC BY 4.0.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman claimed on Monday that Iran would only re-engage with ongoing talks in Vienna to resurrect the 2015 nuclear deal in order to “finalise the agreement”, not “for new negotiations”.

Despite this, the spokesman added that there were still issues that were outstanding.

“At the moment, we do not yet have a definitive answer from Washington”, he said. “If Washington answers the outstanding questions, we can go to Vienna as soon as possible”.

Tehran has been engaged in talks to resurrect the JCPOA since last summer, following the Trump administration’s withdrawal in 2018.

The Vienna talks were halted last month following Russian demands for guarantees that Western sanctions imposed following its invasion of Ukraine would not damage its trade with Iran.

Among the unresolved issues is Tehran’s demand that the US remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, a paramilitary arm of the Iranian state, from its terror list.

The IRGC holds significant sway over Iranian politics and society, with close ties to President Ebrahim Raisi.

The IRGC is known to have led efforts to repress internal dissent in Iran itself, as well as playing a destabilising role around the Middle East, including in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.