New nuclear deal can only happen under new Iran leadership, says IAEA as GCC warns of Iran's missile programme

New nuclear deal can only happen under new Iran leadership, says IAEA as GCC warns of Iran's missile programme
The US is eager to return Iran to the negotiating table and revive the battered nuclear deal, but global powers have expressed concern over Tehran's internal politics and its missile programme.
2 min read
17 June, 2021
Iran's missile programme is a cause for concern for Gulf Arab states [Getty]

Gulf Arab foreign ministers said on Wednesday US- Iranian talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal should take into consideration Tehran's ballistic missile programme, as the head of the UN nuclear watchdog warns that reviving the 2015 nuclear accord has to wait until a new Iranian government is formed.

The comments come as US President Joe Biden takes the lead in attempting to reverse Trump-era policies that essentially made the nuclear accord, brokered by former US President Barack Obama, dead in the water.

Earlier this week, Iran said it had reached a broad agreement with the US over lifting sanctions but warned there was "very little time left” for world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.

In Vienna, Austria, Iranian delegates are meeting with European powers in an attempt to salvage the nuclear accord. 

Some political commentators say that the 2015 nuclear deal is no longer possible given that Iran has enhanced its nuclear proliferation programme.

It has already enriched 6.5 kg of uranium to 60 percent, which is a violation of the nuclear deal.


The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) emphasised the importance of member states being included in the dialogue and regional interests has prompted an increased focus on Iran by the body during a meeting in Riyadh.

With presidential elections set to take place on Friday, Iran faces an internal challenge, Rafael Grossi, said the head of the UN nuclear watchdog.

"Everyone knows that, at this point, it will be necessary to wait for the new Iranian government," Rafael Grossi said in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, in reply to a question about what stage negotiations on the deal were at, according to Reuters.

A sixth round of talks to revive the deal continued in Vienna on Saturday.

"The discussions that have been going on for weeks have dealt with very complex and delicate technical questions, but what is needed is the political will of the parties," Grossi said.