Several challenges sour the path of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the JCPOA countries. The last round of talks in Vienna concluded on 20 June with all draft deals rejected. Chief US negotiator Robert Maley said that "there is a real risk that they [Iran] are making unrealistic demands about what they can achieve in these talks."
The outgoing Iranian administration hoped to reach a deal under its watch, but with president-elect Ibrahim Raisi scheduled to be sworn on Thursday (5 August), that hope has now gone. The negotiations file will be transferred to the new administration, a prospect which the Americans do not feel very confident about since the whole Iranian negotiating team in Vienna could be changed.
Like in any other negotiations, the devil lies in the detail. Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei said in his last meeting with the government of outgoing president Hassan Rouhani that during the Vienna negotiations the United States was demanding the inclusion of a new clause in the nuclear deal which stipulates that Iran participates in future negotiations on other issues. Khamenei added that “a very important experience in this period that the future generations should use is distrust of the West,”
Kazem Gharibabadi, Representative of Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed saying that the United States has linked reaching an agreement in the Vienna negotiations to a new condition, asking Iran to accept negotiations on other future files such as the regional file.
The clause is likely to be an attempt from the Biden administration to address the criticism of the 2015 deal that the agreement did not address the Iran ballistic missile program and regional issues.
There are also other disagreements over sanctions removal and names on sanctions lists.
Europeans are a bit more optimistic than the Americans. "If it happened once, it could happen again," said a senior European diplomat involved in the negotiations. Sources close to Tehran say negotiations are unlike to resume before a new cabinet is formed.