The announcement by Russia, which could torpedo months of intensive indirect talks between Tehran and Washington in Vienna, came shortly after Tehran announced it had agreed a roadmap with the UN nuclear watchdog to resolve outstanding issues which could help secure the nuclear pact.
“Russians had put this demand on the table (at the Vienna talks) since two days ago,” said the Iranian official in Tehran
“There is an understanding that by changing its position in Vienna talks Russia wants to secure its interests in other places. This move is not constructive for Vienna nuclear talks,” the official added.
Demanding written US guarantees that Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine would not damage its cooperation with Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated the limitations had become a stumbling block for the Iran nuclear deal, warning the West that Russian national interests would have to be taken into account.
Lavrov noted the sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine had created a “problem” from Moscow’s perspective.
When asked whether Russia’s demand would harm 11 months of talks between Tehran and world powers, including Russia, Iran Project Director at International Crisis Group, Ali Vaez said, “Not yet. But it’s impossible to segregate the two crises for much longer.”
“The US can issue waivers for the work related to the transfer of excess fissile material to Russia. But it’s a sign that the commingling of the two issues has started,” Vaez added.
All parties involved in Vienna talks announced on Friday they were close to reaching an agreement.