Russia Softens Iran Demands, Re

Russia has agreed to modify its demands for talks on Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S., Russia, China and other countries have been negotiating with Iranian officials in hopes of reaching a deal to keep the country from developing nuclear weapons

Russia has softened their demands on Iran, re. The nuclear deal that they were negotiating was to be the first step in a potential peace agreement between the two countries. They are now looking for an end to all tensions with Iran. Read more in detail here: iran nuclear deal explained .

BERLIN— According to top western officials, Russia has backed down from recent demands on Washington relating to the Iran nuclear deal, paving the path for Tehran and Washington to resurrect the 2015 pact.

Following a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Moscow on Tuesday, both Mr. Lavrov and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Russia was not standing in the way of the agreement.

Russia had earlier this month requested assurances from Washington that the Western sanctions placed on Moscow over Ukraine would not damage its commercial connections with Iran. According to western officials, the last-minute maneuver was the driving force behind the failure of a deal to resurrect the 2015 nuclear accord during the previous ten days. 

The European Union which is in charge of the discussions, called a halt to them on Friday, citing “external forces” for the failure to reach a “basically ready” agreement.


Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian foreign minister, and Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, both said that Russia would not stand in the way of an Iran nuclear agreement.

Maxim Shemetov/pool/Shutterstock photo

Russia’s lead negotiator at the negotiations, Mikhail Ulyanov, told the EU on Tuesday evening that Russia would accept tighter assurances assuring that Russia could carry out the nuclear activity specified by the 2015 nuclear agreement, according to a senior western diplomat. A uranium exchange with Iran, the revamping of the Fordow nuclear complex, and the supply of nuclear fuel to Iranian reactors are all part of this plan.

“Russia says it’s satisfied with assurances on nuclear projects and isn’t asking for anything more,” said the diplomat, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the discussions. “As a result, we can go on with talks that are now solely between the United States and Iran.”

“We are not going to punish Russia for undertaking, for engaging in nuclear programs that are part of the” nuclear accord, said State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday evening.

The talks, which have been on on for over a year, are aimed at reaching an agreement on the measures Washington and Tehran would take to comply with the 2015 accord, which eased most international sanctions in exchange for stringent but temporary curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

While Iran claims it is not attempting to produce nuclear weapons, a study at its main sites reveals it may be working on the technology. The Wall Street Journal lays down Tehran’s capabilities as it achieves new uranium enrichment milestones and restricts inspection access. George Downs provided the artwork for this article.

According to the United Nations nuclear agency, Iran has almost enough nuclear high-grade enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb after the Trump administration pulled out of the agreement and reimposed broad sanctions on the country, claiming the agreement was too weak. 

Iran claims its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, while US authorities claim there is no proof Iran is planning to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

A senior US source told The Wall Street Journal over the weekend that there were just “a handful of problems remaining” between the US and Iran to achieve an agreement, namely the breadth of sanctions relief Iran would get from Washington. According to the source, the US side believes that these concerns may be resolved “within reach.”


Russia’s principal negotiator during the negotiations, Mikhail Ulyanov.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/joe Klamar

To maintain the nuclear accord, the US official and top European diplomats indicated they would not discuss substantial exemptions from Western sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with Moscow. They warned that unless Russia backed down from its demands, they would try to reach an arrangement with Iran without going through Russia.

Mr. Ulyanov said on Twitter Tuesday evening that it was a falsehood that Russia had obstructed the agreement with its demands for assurances. “Some requests were accepted,” he continued. Iran, which has close relations with Russia, has continued to blame Washington for the deal’s failure.

Negotiations between the US and Iran might begin without the need for negotiators to travel to Vienna, where they have been held since April 2021, according to a senior western official. Iran has so far declined to speak directly with the United States preferring instead to negotiate via European nations at the negotiations. Negotiators may work from capitals to overcome the remaining discrepancies since there are so few concerns to resolve.

The clock is ticking. According to US and European officials, Iran’s nuclear development has progressed to the point where the deal’s major advantage to the West—preventing Iran from collecting enough nuclear material for a nuclear weapon—would be difficult to achieve.

European officials, in particular, have cautioned that the diplomatic window for reaching an agreement is shrinking as the crisis in Ukraine intensifies.

—This article was co-written by Courtney McBride.

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