Iran’s approach toward restoring its nuclear deal with world powers won’t change after this month’s presidential election, a top official said, amid expectations that Hassan Rouhani will be succeeded by a critical of the accord.
Diplomats are trying to broker an agreement between Iran and the U.S. that will revive the pact abandoned by former President Donald Trump and ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s economy in exchange for it scaling back its atomic activities. A top atomic body on Monday said the negotiations in Vienna are at a “decisive” point.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said the decision to engage with the deal’s other participants, including the U.S., was made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and had backing from the highest levels of Iran’s ruling establishment. That won’t be affected by Rouhani’s departure, Rabiei said.
“Other parties to the nuclear deal can rest assured that Iran will not break its obligations as long as they abide by their commitments,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “We’re focused on finalizing talks in the remaining time. Right now, we’re not interested in speculating about different possibilities in advance.”
Iranians are scheduled to go to the polls on June 18 to elect their next president, widely expected to be conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi who’s generally seen as hostile to engagement with the U.S.
Diplomats adjourned the talks in Vienna last week with the U.S. and Iranian delegations told they’d have to make hard decisions that could ruffle domestic political constituencies.
Envoys are expected to return to the Austrian capital this week, where leaders are to decide on the next steps.