Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said today in Tehran that no date or venue has been set for the next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1. Salehi’s comments contradicted an earlier report by semi-official news agency ISNA that the meeting was set for 28-29 January. The foreign minister’s comments also came a day after a meeting between Iran and the IAEA ended with no agreements.
“The date and venue for the next round of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 are not determined yet and Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili and his colleagues are holding consultations over the time and venue of the next round of negotiations,” Salehi said on Friday. (IRNA/Press TV, 18 January)
Iran and the P5+1 last met in Moscow in June 2012. In recent weeks, the Russians have voiced concerns that no dates for the next meeting have been set. The EU has reportedly suggested the 28-29 January dates.
It is not clear why Iran is apparently using delaying tactics with both the P5+1 and the IAEA. It could be that the Iranian government does not want to come to an agreement with the U.S. and the West before its June presidential election. In the absence of an agreement, new and far-reaching U.S. sanctions will go into effect on 6 February that could block Iran’s oil export revenues from reaching Tehran.