A new round of talks between Iran and the European members of the P5+1 nuclear deal are expected Friday. Iranian officials say they’re only going in to talks wanting one thing out of the deal: “our demand is to be able to sell our oil.“
Iranian officials say they consider the right to sell oil and gas the “minimum of our benefit from the deal,” adding that they aren’t demanding Europe invest in them or anything, they just want to be allowed to trade.
That’s been an ongoing problem since the US withdrew from the deal, as the US followed up this withdrawal by demanding that no one buy Iranian oil. The EU has promised a mechanism to circumvent the US, but has failed to deliver so far.
These repeatedly undelivered promises have Iran moving away from certain voluntary aspects of the deal, and warning that the rest of the world needs to stop expecting them to sacrifice everything in the name of saving the deal, since trade is all they want.
US officials condemned that suggestion as “nuclear blackmail,” even though the situation only relates to Iran’s civilian program, and none of the extent members of the nuclear deal have a serious problem with Iran continue civilian enrichment of uranium.
The EU thought, at least at one point, they could set up a mechanism to allow trade to continue irrespective of US threats and demands. They have yet to even attempt to make it operational, however, and this is making them look ridiculously powerless in promises to foster an independent trade policy separate from the US.
As Iranian officials emphasize they want to get back to trade at the level of when the P5+1 deal went into effect. They have the oil to sell, and plenty of customers. The question remains if the US can really prevent everyone from buying.