Progress Possible in JCPOA Talks If All Sides Engage Seriously: Iran Deputy FM

Progress Possible in JCPOA Talks If All Sides Engage Seriously: Iran Deputy FM

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator in the ongoing talks between Tehran and the five other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna said discussions in the past few days show that “serious engagement” by all parties can help the negotiations move forward.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Ali Baqeri offered a brief report on the talks held earlier in the day in the Austrian capital on securing a removal of the US sanctions on Iran and a subsequent revitalization of the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Baqeri said he had exchanged views with the heads of the delegations of the P4+1 states — France, Britain, Germany, China and Russia — and that of the European Union, while expert teams continued working on the texts, which center around the American sanctions and Iran’s nuclear commitments.

Both expert groups and lead negotiators are continuing talks “intensively,” he said. “The last few days showed if everyone engages seriously, progress is possible.”

Over the past days, however, Iran and Russia have complained about the unconstructive positions taken by the European parties in the course of the talks.

On Tuesday, Baqeri advised the Western parties involved in the negotiations to set aside “blame game” and engage in real diplomacy with Iran.

Echoing Tehran’s concerns over the Europeans’ unconstructive positions, Russia’s lead negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov likewise expressed surprise over the “illogical” stances adopted by the European trio, saying Moscow cannot back such “destructive” stances since they do not match its understanding of diplomacy.

The landmark 2015 nuclear agreement was abandoned in 2018 by former US president Donald Trump, who then went on to target Iran’s economy with an abortive “maximum pressure” campaign.

Iran and the five remaining signatories began the talks in the Austrian capital in April with the aim of removing the sanctions after the US, under President Joe Biden, voiced its willingness to return to the agreement.

The seventh round of the Vienna talks, the first under Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration, resumed on November 29 after a five-month pause.

Days into the renewed talks, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US bans and Iran’s return to the JCPOA commitments that it suspended in retaliation for Washington’s exit and the European trio’s failure to live up to their obligations.

Tehran also said it was preparing a third draft text on the verification of the sanctions removal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Monday expressed Tehran’s readiness to reach a “good agreement” in order to take full advantage of the economic benefits of the JCPOA and address the concerns of the other parties.

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