Russian envoy: Collapse of Vienna talks is only ‘wishful thinking’
The foreign policy chief of the European Union stressed the necessity of seizing the existing diplomatic opportunity to bring the United States back to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and pave the way for the full implementation of the landmark agreement.
In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, Josep Borrell said he had raised the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the Iran deal is officially known, during a meeting of foreign ministers from the G7 group of the world’s most developed nations in Britain.
“As coordinator of the JCPOA, I highlighted the need to use the current window of opportunity to advance toward return of the US & full implementation of the deal,” Borrell said.
Former US president Donald Trump abandoned the JCPOA three years after its conclusion and launched what his team called a “maximum pressure” campaign with the stated objective of forcing Iran to renegotiate “a better agreement”, Press TV reported.
The Islamic Republic refused to bow down to the pressure and adopted instead a “maximum resistance” policy, which includes economic measures to weather the bans as well as reducing Tehran's compliance with the JCPOA.
Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has said that his administration is willing to return to the JCPOA, but conditioned the move to Tehran’s full compliance.
Tehran says Washington is the side which abandoned the JCPOA and thus, it has to take the first step toward the JCPOA by unconditionally removing all the sanctions on Iran in a verifiable manner, given its long record of not playing by the rules.
In recent weeks, envoys from Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran — the remaining signatories to the JCPOA known as the P4+1 — have held several rounds of talks in Vienna aimed at ending the Tehran-Washington row and reviving the JCPOA.
They have established three expert-level working groups tasked with unraveling the most important issues and drafting solutions.
A US delegation headed by the US administration’s special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, was also in the Austrian capital, but it was not attending the discussions.
Talks to resume Friday
JCPOA parties are set to resume talks in Vienna on Friday.
Speaking at the end of the third round of the negotiations on Saturday, Iranian chief negotiator Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said the talks have approached certain “maturity” and “clarity”.
“I can say that the discussions have reached maturity, both on the issues that are contentious and the issues over which there is agreement,” Araqchi said.
“We have specific subtle technical points and details on issues relating to [Iran’s] nuclear activities and the [US unilateral] sanctions, which need to be discussed,” he added.
Vienna talks making progress
In another development on Tuesday, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov rejected speculation about the collapse of the Vienna negotiations, calling it “wishful thinking.”
Ulyanov stressed that the talks were making progress.
“Read with surprise comments of some analysts who claim that the Vienna talks on JCPOA are collapsing. This is wishful thinking of those who are against efforts to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation regime based on NPT,” he tweeted.
The Russian diplomat added: “In real life the talks are making progress.”