Agreement on the international deal on Iran’s nuclear programme could be reached within 48 hours, a senior participant in talks has said, according to the Independent.
The Independent added that the revival of the deal would pave the way for the end of sanctions on Iran, allowing it to step up oil exports to Western countries seeking to halt their reliance on Russia for energy supplies.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, who acts as United Nations Security Council facilitator at the talks in Vienna, said “the signals are good” for agreement over the weekend.
And he said there was “no question” that agreement would lead to renewed oil exports from Iran, reducing upward pressure on energy prices in the West.
Coveney told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “We are getting much closer to signing a deal. In fact, some would say that there are prospects potentially for a deal this weekend."
“Iran has a national holiday that starts on Monday that lasts nearly two weeks and so it may well be the case that the political leaders want to get this issue done in the next 48 hours or so, and that’s certainly our hope.”
“There’s no question that other countries in the continent of Europe, particularly on the western side of Europe, now want to move away from a reliance on Russian oil, gas and coal. Having a big player in the market, Iranian crude oil coming back into the market with the removal of sanctions, would be a very attractive prospect in terms of reducing pressure on oil prices," he added.
“This means a big oil producer effectively back in the market for providing oil into the US and elsewhere. I think that is an added incentive to try to get a deal done," the Irish FM said.
Coveney cautioned that there was “no certainty” of the deal being revived this weekend. But he said, “There certainly is a possibility now. This deal really was almost done two or three weeks ago, and certainly, on the EU side, we’ve been happy with the text of the deal for the last two to three weeks."
“It’s really been about trying to get the remaining parties to the JCPOA across the line.”
The Austrian capital has been hosting eight rounds of talks aimed at a potential revival of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a 2015 deal between Iran and others. The United States left the deal in 2018 and returned the sanctions that it had lifted.
The Islamic Republic has defined some of the red lines as the inclusion of its missile program and regional influence in a potential deal. Iran has also demanded that the US provide guarantees that it would not be able to leave the deal again and resume the coercive economic measures.
“We are closer to the point of arriving at a final agreement more than any other time,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told Britain’s Liz Truss over the phone on Wednesday.
“However, what can turn conclusion of a good and stable agreement into a definite prospect is the United States’ realistic behavior and its refusal from tabling new and wrongful demands,” he said.