Vienna negotiations .. Cautious Iranian optimism and European expectations to save the agreement within weeks
The negotiations, held under the auspices of the European Union, aim for Washington to return to the agreement that the administration of former President Donald Trump withdrew from in May 2018, and re-imposed tough sanctions on Iran to push it to abide by its international commitments related to the nuclear program.
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The Iranian news agency quoted the negotiating delegation in Vienna as saying that the course of negotiations on lifting sanctions is moving forward, a day after European negotiators said that they have weeks, not months, to save the agreement.
The negotiating delegation said that Washington should lift the sanctions it imposed after its withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.
He added that reaching an agreement would be faster the more serious the other party was.
Western sources in Vienna had quoted the chief Iranian negotiator, Ali Bagheri, as confirming the peaceful nature of his country’s nuclear program and its readiness to subject it to monitoring.
It also quoted Bagheri as confirming that Tehran did not intend to exceed 60% uranium enrichment, which would allow it to make a nuclear bomb.
The sources concluded by saying that Bagheri informed the European parties of Tehran’s readiness to return to the agreement, and to abide by all its provisions, on the condition that the United States return to it and lift sanctions.
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This comes while the Russian envoy to Iran’s nuclear talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, said today, Wednesday, that he met his American counterpart in Vienna, where the eighth round of negotiations is taking place.
Ulyanov wrote on Twitter that he had met with the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley.
“Close consultations and coordination between the US and Russian delegations in the context of the Vienna talks are an important precondition for progress towards resuming the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the nuclear agreement),” he added.
On Tuesday, Ulyanov said he was noticing indisputable progress, and made clear that discussion of lifting sanctions on Iran was proceeding effectively in the informal talks.
On Monday, the eighth round of Vienna talks on the Iranian nuclear file resumed, which focuses on negotiating a new joint document between Iran and international powers.
The European Union coordinator for the Vienna negotiations, Enrique Mora, expected that an agreement on reviving the nuclear agreement with Iran would be reached within weeks, CBS News reported.
“There may be some modest progress that has been made,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington.
“However, one way or another, it is too early to say to what extent this progress has been substantial. At least we believe that any progress achieved does not amount to Iran’s accelerating nuclear pace,” he added.
The negotiations, held under the auspices of the European Union, aim for Washington to return to the agreement that the administration of former President Donald Trump withdrew from in May 2018, and re-imposed severe sanctions on Iran to push it to abide by its international obligations related to the nuclear program.
Tehran insists on a complete lifting of US sanctions before returning to its nuclear commitments, which it abandoned in the past years, after Washington withdrew from the agreement reached at the meeting held in the Austrian capital Vienna on July 14, 2015.