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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Iran talks in Vienna conclude on ‘positive note’ in first week

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The first Austria meeting on Tuesday saw positive steps towards reviving the nuclear deal, with the US and Iran agreeing to form two working groups to ensure compliance with the historic accord.

The US said it witnessed “signs of Iranian seriousness” during the week-long meetings in Vienna, signalling hopes toward reviving the the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], Reuters reported on Saturday.

“If Iran sticks to the position that every sanction that has been imposed since 2017 has to be lifted or there will be no deal, then we are heading towards an impasse,” senior US State Department official told reporters in a telephonic briefing on Friday following the second meeting in Austria.

The first week of meetings to push for the restoration of the JCPOA commenced on Tuesday, and saw US and Iran hold indirect talks along with other members of the deal, including China, Russia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom for the first time in years.

Read also:‘Right track’: Iran, US agree on path to revive nuclear deal

“The Joint Commission meeting in Vienna is over. The #JCPOA participants took stock of the work done by experts over the last three days and noted with satisfaction the initial progress made. The Commission will reconvene next week in order to maintain the positive momentum,” tweeted Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s representative at the talks.
The first week of the talks concluded on Friday and are scheduled to continue on Wednesday.

Most likely the next meeting of the Joint Commission of #JCPOA will be held on April 14 in Vienna. Hopefully by that time all its participants and the #US will undertake analysis of the work done this week and elaborate their positions further to expedite the negotiations,” Ulyanov said in another tweeted.

On Iran’s end, the foreign ministry expressed Tehran’s willingness to continue the negotiations as long as all sides continue to exhibit “political will and seriousness” in order to revive the deal and lift the sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic following former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal in 2018.

Washington and Tehran agreed to form two working groups in order to ensure the compliance of both sides in the accord—one to oversee the lifting of sanctions on Iran and another to monitor its limitation of nuclear activity.

Since assuming presidency, Joe Biden has expressed keenness on reviving the deal, which had initially come into effect during his time as vice president to President Barack Obama in 2015.

Qatar has offered to mediate between the US and Iran to ensure regional stability, with Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani saying Doha will “spare no efforts” in its efforts.

“We hope that with the return of the US to the nuclear deal as soon as possible, challenges and sanctions can be alleviated within the framework of the deal, and Qatar will not spare any efforts to make that happen,” Al Thani said during the first high-level talks in Tehran on February 15th.

The Gulf state has also held talks with the ambassadors of France, Germany and the UK in February in efforts to push for the restoration of the deal.


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