Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, wrapped up another round of talks in the Austrian capital with negotiators voicing satisfaction with efforts to revitalizing the troubled accord.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement the meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission revolved around “the latest status of technical discussions and initial drafts”.
Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China have been in talks this month in an effort to keep alive the landmark agreement which has been unravelling since former US president Donald Trump pulled out of it in 2018 and imposed tough sanctions on the Islamic Republic. The withdrawal prompted Iran to, in turn, ramp up its nuclear activities a year later.
The talks are aimed at determining which sanctions the United States should lift before rejoining the deal and which measures Iran should take to come into compliance with the accord.
According to the Foreign Ministry’s statement, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who leads Iran’s delegation in Vienna, said “talks are moving forward despite difficulties and challenges”.
“The Iranian delegation will halt the talks whenever negotiations move toward excessive demands, time killing and irrational bargaining,” Araqchi said.
He said Saturday that “a new agreement is taking shape” and that “parties can start working on a joint text.”
But before the Tuesday talks, Araqchi rejected the notion that Iran could settle for any “temporary agreement”.
Araqchi underlined that Iran only uses the talks to discuss the potential of that “final step” toward elimination of the oppressive sanctions.
The European Union’s representative, Enrique Mora, on Twitter hailed “progress made over the last two weeks” but noted that “much more hard work needed.”
Mora said a “third expert group was created to address sequencing issues”.
“I continue to think that diplomacy is the only way forward for the JCPOA to address ongoing challenges.”
Russian Ambassador in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov also tweeted that participants “took note with satisfaction of the progress made in negotiations to restore the nuclear deal”.
Ulyanov said the delegations took a break to allow them to consult with their capitals.
He said on Monday that the talks had “entered the drafting stage”.
“Practical solutions are still far away, but we have moved from general words to agreeing on specific steps toward the goal,” Ulyanov added.
The Joint Commission will meet again early next week.
No concessions beyond JCPOA
Earlier in the day, Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei rejected the possibility of giving concessions beyond those offered within the framework of the JCPOA.
“Technically, it is possible to lift all the sanctions that violate the JCPOA and fully revive the agreement in the short term. We hope to achieve the desired outcome through constructive negotiations,” Rabiei told a weekly briefing, Press TV reported.
“We are in no hurry to reclaim our obvious rights in the agreement and we are not willing to give any concessions beyond the framework of the JCPOA,” he added.