After Moscow demanded a US guarantee that sanctions upon Ukraine would not harm its trade with Tehran, France warned Russia not to use blackmail in its efforts to revive a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
The news: On Saturday, Russia raised the potential stumbling block, just as months of indirect talks in Vienna between Tehran and Washington over reviving the 2015 pact appeared to be on the verge of agreement.
- Iran was eagerly hoping from Russia about its demand through “diplomatic channels,” a foreign ministry person said. A senior Iranian official told Reuters on Saturday that Russia’s move was unconstructive.
- Russia wants a written guarantee from the US that sanctions imposed by the West since Russia invaded its neighbour will not obstruct Moscow’s trade, investment, or military-technical cooperation with Iran, according to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
What’s going on: The parties which are involved in the talks claim that they sense progress towards the restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the United States.
However, both Tehran and Washington have stated that there are still some major differences to be resolved.
What are they saying: Last Sunday, a French presidency official told reporters that diplomats tended to treat each issue on its own merits rather than combining them.
He further stated, “Because otherwise, it’s just blackmail and not diplomacy.”
- Officials from the West say they all want to avoid a non-proliferation crisis, and they’re trying to figure out if Russia’s demands are limited to its commitments to the Iran nuclear deal.
That’d be manageable, but anything beyond that, they say, would be problematic.
But the diplomats told Reuters that at least two key issues between Tehran and Washington are still unresolved. This includes the extent to which sanctions would be eased.
On Monday, Ali Shamkhani, Iran’s top security official, urged Washington to make political decisions.