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Thursday, October 28, 2021

US, Iran to hold indirect talks on nuclear deal in Vienna


Qatar has offered to mediate between Washington and Tehran in order to revive the deal, which would see the lifting of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The United States and Iran will hold indirect talks in Austria on Tuesday, in efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, Washington confirmed on Friday.

According to US State Department spokesman Ned Price, Washington will be present in the Vienna meetings, but will not have direct talks with Iran. 

“We have agreed to participate in talks with our European, Russian, and Chinese partners to identify the issues involved in a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA with Iran,” Price said in a statement, noting that the US does not “anticipate an immediate breakthrough”.

In a virtual conference on Friday – with Iran, Russia, China, Germany, France and the UK – the European Union [EU] said the talks aim “to clearly identify sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation measures”.

Iran has called for the complete lifting of the sanctions and rejected any step-by-step process.

“The definitive policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the lifting of all US sanctions, whether those which Trump reimposed after withdrawing from the JCPOA or those which he initiated, as well as sanctions imposed under any other heading,” Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, told Press TV on Saturday.

Read also: Qatari FM meets EU ambassadors in bid to revive nuclear deal

Signed between Iran and the P5+1 – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany – the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] deal limited Tehran’s nuclear weapon production in exchange for the lifting of sanctions on the country.

While former President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018, the Biden administration has started looking into reviving the historic agreement.

Qatar has offered to mediate between the US and Iran to ensure regional stability. The Gulf state held talks with the ambassadors of France, Germany and the UK in February in efforts to push for the restoration of the deal.

Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said Doha will “spare no efforts” in its mediation between the two states.

“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.

Tehran maintains that it will return to its nuclear commitments in accordance with the 2015 accord if sanctions are lifted.

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