The outlook for talks on restoring the JCPOA Iran nuclear deal has been boosted this week, after last-minute Russian demands threatened to derail the process (MEES, 11 March). Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov now says that Moscow has “received written guarantees… included in the very text of the agreement,” that Ukraine-related sanctions won’t impede its trade with Iran.

Russia’s stance on the issue had raised concerns that the talks might disintegrate just as a resolution appeared to be within reach, with EU high representative Josep Borrell announcing a pause in the Vienna talks on 11 March even though “a final text is essentially ready and on the table.” (CONTINUED - 1111 WORDS)