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Iranian MP says nuclear talks will resume four months after breakdown


Talks were last held in June

1.5 mil b/d of Iranian crude hangs in the balance

US special envoy for Iran visiting UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar

Talks to restart the stalled Iran nuclear deal will resume this week, an Iranian member of parliament said on Twitter on Oct. 17, about four months after negotiations were delayed as a new ultra conservative administration took office.

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The tweet by Behroz Mohebbi-Najmabadi followed an Oct. 17 meeting with the foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in parliament and is the first time an Iranian official during the new presidency of Ebrahim Raisi has given a timetable for talks to begin again. "The government will start the talks in the current week," which began Oct. 16, Mohebbi-Najmabadi said.

Amir-Abdollahian was invited to the parliament to discuss, among other things, the foreign ministry's nuclear negotiations policies and tactics, according to the parliament's presiding board speaker Nezameddin Mousavi, as cited by state television. The minister held talks with the EU envoy Enrique Mora on Oct. 14 in Tehran and said that they will resume discussions in Brussels without giving more details. It is not clear if the Brussel talks will only involve the EU representative for now, as some have speculated, and not involve all parties to the agreement (Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany).

Talks ended in June after six rounds held in Vienna as the ultra conservative administration of Raisi worked out its plans for negotiations.

The chance of talks to resume comes just as oil risks are rising that the nuclear deal will collapse, removing 1.5 million in supply expected by the end of next year and testing global spare capacity, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley will travel to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar over Oct. 15-21 to discuss with the Gulf allies a "range of concerns with Iran," including attempts to negotiate a mutual return to compliance with Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the State Department said Oct. 13. The 2015 pact set restrictions on Iran 's nuclear program in exchange for relief from US sanctions. The Trump administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran 's oil, petrochemical , shipping and other sectors in 2018.

"The timeline for more crucial diplomacy with the US remains unclear, but we still put the odds of an eventual deal just above 50-50," Paul Sheldon, Platts Analytics chief geopolitical adviser, said Oct. 15. "However, we acknowledge that Iran may no longer seek a deal under any realistic conditions."

Platts Analytics expects Iranian oil supply to rise to 3.66 million b/d by December 2022 if a deal is reached and US oil sanctions are removed. If talks are delayed further or collapse, the Iranian supply outlook would fall to 2.17 million b/d The Platts OPEC survey estimated Iran produced 2.52 million b/d in September, up 20,000 b/d from August.