Vienna talks.. Iranian-Russian optimism and European diplomats: Time is running out and the situation is frustrating

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Senior diplomats from France, Britain and Germany said that Western powers have not yet had real negotiations with Iran in the talks on salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal, and that unless there is rapid progress the deal will soon become “meaningless”.

“At this moment, we are still unable to engage in real negotiations. Time is running out, and without rapid progress, and in light of the rapid development of Iran’s nuclear program, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear deal) will soon become meaningless,” the European diplomats said in a statement.

“The situation is frustrating because the outlines of a fair and comprehensive agreement that would allow the lifting of all sanctions associated with the JCPOA and respond to our non-proliferation concerns have been clearly known since last summer,” the diplomats added.

In turn, the US State Department said on Monday it was too early to say whether Iran had returned to nuclear talks with a more constructive approach, after Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator said progress had been made.

State Department deputy spokeswoman Galina Porter made the remark during a telephone briefing to reporters.

The Pentagon said Iran’s ballistic missile program had developed “in a manner that poses a threat to our interests and those of our partners.”

Tehran talks about progress in negotiations

In contrast, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri said at the weekend that good progress had been made during nuclear talks with world powers in Vienna that would quickly pave the way for serious negotiations.

For his part, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami, said that his country is committed to the laws of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and is interested in continuing to progress in its scientific projects within the internationally agreed framework and the agency’s laws.

He added that some Western countries are trying to influence public opinion in the region, and claim that Iran’s nuclear program is limited to uranium enrichment, which are not true, according to him.

Eslami explained that the Iranian nuclear program includes measures and projects in industry, water, agriculture, medicine and the environment.

Russian optimism

Amid the divergent positions between the two parties, Moscow expressed optimism about the progress of the ongoing talks, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov saw an increased possibility of reaching an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.

Ryabkov said, in statements to Sputnik Agency, that the possibility of reaching an agreement has increased now, compared to what it was before the resumption of negotiations, and explained that Russia, in its contacts with the United States, constantly stresses that threatening Iran with new sanctions is useless, and that Iran’s proposals regarding a plan The comprehensive action reflects Tehran’s utmost seriousness to resume the nuclear deal.

Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, also called on Iran and the United States to stop taking measures that would deviate from the nuclear agreement.

Ulyanov said that the United States continues to practice the policy of maximum pressure and impose additional sanctions that were not imposed during the rule of former President Donald Trump, while Iran, in turn, is working to develop its nuclear program, develop new technologies for uranium production, and build advanced centrifuges.

Ulyanov considered that, despite the current contradictions, the two countries are working to restore the nuclear agreement.

Talks between Lavrov and Abdullahian

In this context, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian the nuclear file of Tehran, during a telephone conversation between them, on Monday, according to a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The statement indicated that Lavrov and Abdollahian affirmed their common interest in resuming the process of implementing the nuclear agreement approved by the UN Security Council.

The statement added that the implementation of the nuclear agreement is in the interest of all concerned parties.

The two ministers also discussed the existing bilateral relations between the two countries and some international files of common interest.

On November 29, the major powers resumed negotiations with Iran in Vienna over its nuclear program, with the aim of returning to the agreement reached in 2015, after a 5-month hiatus.

However, those negotiations were suspended on 3 December; due to the inability of the parties to reach an agreement.

Iran is demanding a full lifting of the sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump, after his withdrawal from the agreement in 2018, as a condition for returning to the previous agreement.

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