The plunge in global oil prices isn’t likely to drive Iran to strike a nuclear deal with the West by next month’s deadline despite Tehran’s added economic difficulties, experts say. They will only push Iran into greater compromise if the talks are extended and the low prices persist.
In Vienna, where two days of resumed talks broke up yesterday, diplomats told The Wall Street Journal that prices—which have plunged by 25% since last summer—could make Iran more conciliatory. Iran is thought to require $140-a-barrel oil—the highest price of any OPEC cartel member—to balance the state budget. Since coming to power a little over a year ago, president Hassan Rohani has said he wants to reinvigorate Iran’s economy by getting Western-led sanctions related to its nuclear program lifted and foreign investors back into his country.