Iran Says US will lift oil and shipping sanctions

Iran claimed yesterday June 23rd that the US had agreed to remove all sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping. However, Germany cautioned that certain major issues remained with the talks between Iran and  major powers before the 2015 nuclear deal can be revived.

The Iranian remarks were made by outgoing President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff. They echoed previous assertions by officials in Rouhani’s pragmatist camp that Washington was prepared to make major concessions at the talks, which have been under way in Vienna since April. It was through that there could be internal politics at play in the statement.

The talks adjourned on Sunday June 20th two days after Iran held a presidential election won by hardliner Ebrahim Raisi. Raisi is on a US blacklist, and is due to replace Rouhani in August.

Rouhani’s chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi was quoted as saying by Iranian state media that “an agreement has been reached to remove all insurance, oil and shipping sanctions that were imposed by (former US President) Trump”.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Wednesday that there remained significant hurdles. “We are making progress but there are still some nuts to crack,” Maas told a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Maas said a deal was possible even after the election of Raisi.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday there was still “a fair distance to travel”,