The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said any agreement reached on a restored nuclear deal in Vienna will have to wait until after this weekend's Iranian presidential election.
A national vote will take place on Friday, June 8, and it's expected that the hardline candidate and current head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi will succeed Hassan Rouhani as president. Rouhani's term ends on August 3rd. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said in a Wednesday interview with an Italian daily paper that "Everyone knows that, at this point, it will be necessary to wait for the new Iranian government."
"The discussions that have been going on for weeks have dealt with very complex and delicate technical questions, but what is needed is the political will of the parties," he added.
The remarks come after prior widespread overly-optimistic reports that a deal would be reached prior to a new Iranian president being sworn into office.
These statements had actually previously come from the Iranian side, also given it was Rouhani who oversaw negotiations with the Obama administration in 2015 for the original deal. Rouhani has this week been pushing for a hasty positive conclusion to Vienna talks, with the hoped-for US dropping of sanctions:
President Hassan Rouhani in his cabinet meeting Wednesday said that while progress in the Vienna nuclear talks had slackened, an agreement was "two words and a dot" away and would happen soon.
With his period in office ending in August − he was ineligible to seek a third consecutive term in Friday’s presidential election − Rouhani has been heralding the imminent conclusion of Iran’s multilateral talks with world powers that began in April to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement, the JCPOA.
In remarks likely aimed at bolstering turnout for the election, Rouhani today at the cabinet meeting acknowledged the Vienna talks on #Iran JCPOA had slowed but said an agreement was now "two words and a dot" away.https://t.co/moieI6WiGz— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) June 16, 2021
As for the current state of the now 6th round of talks in Vienna, which is being done "indirectly" in terms of Iran engaging US officials, Grossi stated: "The discussions that have been going on for weeks have dealt with very complex and delicate technical questions, but what is needed is the political will of the parties."