The U.S. called Iran’s response to the latest effort to revive the 2015 nuclear accord “not constructive,” raising questions about whether the two sides can reach a deal that would free more oil for global markets.
Vedant Patel, a department spokesperson, didn’t elaborate on the remarks Thursday night, but added that U.S. officials were still looking at the response, which Iran had submitted to the European Union. E.U. A proposal has been drafted by the E.U. to save the accord, which President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018. Energy traders have closely watched to see if this breakthrough will occur.
“We are studying it and will respond through the E.U., but unfortunately it is not constructive,” Patel said in a statement.
Oil saw a slight drop in weekly oil prices as traders considered both Iran’s news and Saudi Arabia’s possibility of requesting output reductions at the upcoming OPEC+ summit. After a slump of almost 11% in the three previous days, West Texas Intermediate recovered to $88 per barrel.
After giving a speech on Thursday in Pennsylvania, President Joe Biden returned to Washington and said that he was briefed about the situation, but would learn more once he got back to Washington.
An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman earlier called the text “constructive.”
The E.U. had previously exchanged comments. proposal had spurred optimism, as Washington said Tehran had dropped “extraneous demands.”
The goal of the negotiations is to come up with a deal that reinstates limits on Tehran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program in exchange for lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran’s economy.
There are hopes that the negotiations will lead to an end to high oil prices, which have fuelled inflation. However, Biden’s administration signaled it is going to take a firm stance on Iran while it pursues an agreement that would be restored, which has been opposed by Republicans and some Democrats.
—Alexis Shanes, Patrick Sykes, and Alexis Shanes provided assistance
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