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U.S. envoy not confident Iran nuclear deal is imminent


The picture shows an Iranian flag inside Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant. This was captured during an official ceremony for the launch of a second reactor.

AFP via Getty Images| AFP via Getty Images

Robert Malley, the U.S. special envoy to Iran, stated on Sunday that he wasn’t confident of a nuclear agreement between world powers. This is despite 11 months worth of negotiations in Vienna which have been unable to move forward.

Analysts say that failures to reinstate the pact which would reduce Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of tough sanctions could lead to regional war or worsening Western sanctions as well, and increase oil prices.

Malley stated that “I cannot be sure it’s imminent.. we believed we were close a few months back.” Malley spoke at the Doha Forum International conference.

It is a sign of how difficult it will be to reach a consensus in any negotiation when issues remain unresolved.

Kamal Kharrazi was a top advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khamenei and his evaluation of Vienna’s negotiations for a revived 2015 nuclear deal indicated that there could be a deal soon.

“Yes, it’s imminent. “It depends on the political will in the United States,” Kharrazi said to the conference.

Trump’s departure from the nuclear deal in 2018 caused Tehran to begin violating its nuclear limits. It happened about a year after the deal was signed. After months of negotiations, talks were stopped earlier this month because Russia had presented new obstacles.

Russia stated later that it had been given written guarantees it could carry out the work it was required to as a part of the deal. Moscow may allow this to happen.

Kharrazi claimed that Washington should remove FTO designations against Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite unit reporting to Khamenei in order to revive the agreement.

The IRGC was created during the revolution of 1979 by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. It is much more than a military force.

This industrial powerhouse also has a lot of political influence. Washington listed it as a “specially designated global terrorist” (SDGT) in 2017 and authorized the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, (CAATSA), in 2017.

An SDGT was given the IRGC’s foreign operations arm, Quds Force in 2007. Trump’s April 2019 FTO listing placed the IRGC Organization on the list.

Iran’s influence is spread through proxy use by the Quds force.

Kharrazi stated that the IRGC was a nation army, and any national army listed as a terrorist organization is unacceptable.

Malley answered a question about any possible redesignation. He said that regardless of how the IRGC issue is resolved, “our view on the IRGC remains many other sanctions.” “This is not an agreement that will resolve this issue.”

Tehran is also pushing for assurances that the U.S. will not withdraw from this deal. The agreement would limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting severe sanctions which have severely harmed Iran’s economy.

A sensitive issue is how much sanctions will be reversed.

Allies of the United States in the Gulf and Israel have misgivings about the nuclear negotiations and view Tehran as a security risk.

According to Israel’s foreign minister, the United States and Israel are willing to cooperate with Israel in order prevent a nuclear-armed Iran regardless of differences about any possible nuclear deal.

Yair lapid stated in Jerusalem that while there were disagreements regarding a nuclear accord and its implications, an open and honest conversation is part and parcel of friendship. He was speaking during a press conference jointly held with Antony Blinken (U.S. Secretary-of State).