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Clock ticks on Iran nuclear talks as geopolitics hinder progress

Washington needs Saudi and Gulf partners in showdown with China, analyst says

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi arrives for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Sept. 14. (Ministry of Uzbekistan/Handout via Reuters) 

TEHRAN -- Only two weeks ago, officials engaged in reviving the Iran nuclear deal were optimistic that an agreement was within reach. But now the negotiations are in a "stalemate," according to European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

European officials were hopeful that the resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Actions (JCPOA), which former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of in 2018, could lead to a fresh flow of Iranian oil and gas into the tight energy market. But geopolitical calculations and domestic politics in both the U.S. and Iran have stood in the way of efforts to make the final push.

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