Representatives from remaining Iran deal signatories meet in Vienna

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Photo: AFP

British, French, German, Russian and Chinese representatives meet Iranian officials in Vienna today to discuss means of salvaging the nuclear deal.

Even as Iran reaches 4.5% of uranium enrichment—well below the 90% required for a nuclear warhead—Tehran maintains that it will quickly reverse its non-compliant ‘steps’ if the deal’s signatories fulfil their promises of countering the effect of US sanctions, especially in regards to oil. Whilst INSTEX, a barter trade system, offers some economic advantage for Iran as it facilitates the transfer of small volume purchases, its exclusion of oil sales means Iranian demands cannot be met.

Do not expect today’s meeting to revive the deal. As the deal teeters, expect the representatives to focus on building mutual understanding that can be leveraged in order to convince Iran to enter into negotiations with the US for a new deal.  In the meantime, expect tensions to rise in the Gulf as Tehran continues to display its displeasure with Washington’s ‘maximum pressure’ approach.


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