Iran has informed the European Union, the coordinator of the JCPOA Joint Commission, that it will not be ready to return to negotiations on a possible restoration of full compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna until after President-elect Ebrahim Raisi is sworn in in early August, diplomatic sources told Reuters.
The source told Reuters on condition of anonymity that Iran had conveyed this to European officials acting as interlocutors in the indirect US-Iranian negotiations and that the current thinking is the Vienna talks will not resume before mid-August.
“They are not prepared to come back before the new government,” said the source, saying it was not clear whether this meant until Raisi formally takes over on Aug. 5 or until his government is in place.
“We are now talking probably not before mid-August,” added the source.
A US State Department spokesperson confirmed that Iran had asked for more time because of its presidential transition.
“We were prepared to continue negotiating but the Iranians requested more time to deal with their presidential transition,” said the State Department spokesperson.
“When Iran is done with its process, we are prepared to plan our return to Vienna to continue with our talks,” she added. “We remain interested in seeking mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA, though as (Secretary of State Antony Blinken) has made clear, this offer will not be on the table indefinitely.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had expressed regret that the opportunity to reach a deal with the West on the revival of the JCPOA is taken from his administration.