Iran Lawmaker Says Nuclear Talks Likely to Resume in Days

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Talks to revive the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers will “probably” resume within days in Vienna, according to a senior Iranian lawmaker, a rare positive intervention with the sides deadlocked for months.

The potential resumption of indirect negotiations between Iran and the US follows “efforts by the European parties to conclude the negotiations,” National Security Commission member Yaqoub Rezazadeh told the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency.

European Union envoy Josep Borrell said Saturday the “time to decide is now.” That sense of urgency, shared by United Nations nuclear inspectors, contrasts with Iran’s insistence that it won’t be rushed into a deal after more than a year of talks.

European diplomats have warned repeatedly that the deal won’t survive if Iran and the US can’t overcome a number of key differences, including their standoff over American sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In a separate statement on Monday, a top Iranian nuclear official said Iran is “capable of building an atomic bomb” but had no intention of doing so, according to Mehr news agency.

Mohammad Eslami, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that Iran’s nuclear program remains subject to UN inspections though some monitoring cameras were switched off last month in response to “false accusations” by Israel that Tehran wants to acquire nuclear weapons.

The 2015 deal, abandoned by the US four years ago, would ease sanctions on Iran and its oil industry in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

(Updates with comments from Iranian nuclear official on weapons capability.)

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