Before the start of the eighth round of the Vienna talks, Iran adheres to lifting sanctions and Europe calls for rapid progress

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Today, Monday, the eighth round of Vienna talks will resume, with the aim of reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the West.

The Iranian News Agency (IRNA) quoted a source in Iran’s negotiating team in Vienna, that the Iranians had demonstrated their goodwill in the previous round during the draft nuclear measures.

The source in the Iranian negotiating team said that the opposing party must prove its goodwill regarding the lifting of sanctions, noting that achieving progress in the eighth round in Vienna is linked to the opposing party’s approach.

According to the same Iranian source, Tehran is committed to reaching a good agreement in Vienna as soon as possible.

He also expressed his hope that France would play a constructive role in the eighth round of Vienna negotiations.

And at the beginning of this week, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Eslami, announced that his country does not intend to raise the rate of uranium enrichment above 60%, if the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the agreement on its nuclear program, which will resume on Monday, fail.

“Our goals related to uranium enrichment are to meet our industrial and production needs (…) and what our people need,” Islami said in an interview with the Russian “Ria Novosti” agency published on Saturday.

And Western press reports in the past reported that Israel, which is staunchly opposed to the nuclear deal, briefed the United States on intelligence information indicating Iran’s intention to increase the level of enrichment to 90%, which is the percentage that can be reached for the use of enriched uranium for military purposes.

Iran has always emphasized the peaceful and civilian nature of its nuclear program.

European hopes

In contrast, EU Coordinator Enrique Mora said it is important to speed up the main outstanding issues by working closely with the United States.

“Welcome to the eighth round of talks, which will resume on December 27,” he added in a tweet on Twitter.

The seventh round stopped after days of talks, after the head of the Iranian negotiating delegation, Ali Bagheri, expressed his desire to return to Tehran for consultations.

But senior diplomats from France, Germany and the United Kingdom considered the suspension of talks “disappointing”.

European negotiators expressed their hope to meet again before the New Year, noting that there was only “a very small space” left for dialogue.

The aim of the resumption of the Vienna talks is to return the United States, which is indirectly involved in the agreement, as Tehran refuses to hold a direct dialogue with Washington.

In 2018, the United States withdrew from the international nuclear agreement concluded in Vienna in 2015 aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against Iran. Then it re-imposed sanctions on Tehran that severely affect the Iranian economy.

About a year after the US withdrawal from the agreement, Iran gradually retreated from implementing most of the basic obligations stipulated in the agreement.

And the US negotiator, Rob Malley, warned Tuesday that the time margin available to save the nuclear agreement is now limited to “a few weeks” if Iran continues to develop its atomic activities at the current pace, pointing to the risk of a “crisis” if diplomatic efforts fail.

Israeli moves

Meanwhile, Israel preempted the resumption of the nuclear talks by issuing threatening signals and hinting at the existence of military plans against Tehran.

The chief of staff of the Israeli army, Aviv Kohavi, said that his army would prepare military plans against Iran, adding that it was not permissible to reach an agreement with it regarding its nuclear project.

Kohavi announced – at a symposium held by the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv – that Israel does not seek war, but will prepare the necessary practical plans, as he put it.

He considered that the nuclear agreement with Iran would be bad, and would allow Tehran access to military nuclear capabilities.

Kochavi described Iran as a global problem, because it wants to achieve and use nuclear power, as he put it.

And Israeli Army Radio said today, Sunday, that Kohavi directed the acceleration of preparations for a possible attack against Iran, the day after Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi warned that any hostile move against his country would face a firm military response.

In recent weeks, Israel announced that it was preparing to carry out attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities, while Iranian officials responded by saying that any Israeli attack would be answered.

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