0257 GMT June 21, 2021
Russia’s permanent representative to the International Organizations in Vienna said he held a “frank and fruitful” discussion with US special envoy for Iran on major issues related to the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Sunday.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, Mikhail Ulyanov wrote: “Met today with the US Special Envoy for #Iran Mr. Robert Malley. We and members of our teams had a frank and fruitful discussion on major issues related to the Vienna talks on restoration of the #JCPOA.”
In another post on Saturday, he had said, “The Vienna talks on #JCPOA are conducted in various informal settings, as well as in the working groups on #sanctions lifting, nuclear issues and practical measures to restore the deal. The drafting process is under way. If the need arises, a Joint Commission can be convened.”
Earlier in the day he expressed satisfaction with the progress of the negotiations, tweeting, “So far so good but not easy. The work on restoration of the #JCPOA continues, including during this weekend.”
Since a few weeks ago, delegations from Iran and the P4+1 states have been holding negotiations in Vienna within the framework of trilateral working groups and bilateral and multilateral meetings at different levels, according to Press TV.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who heads the Iranian delegation to the Vienna talks, on Tuesday held meetings with Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora and the heads of the three European countries’ delegations to the negotiations.
The diplomatic process in Vienna has been underway since early April with the purpose of finding ways to bring the US back to the JCPOA, signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and prepare the ground for its full implementation, which has been stopped in the aftermath of the US withdrawal from the deal in 2018.
Under former president Donald Trump, the US withdrew from the JCPOA and initiated a “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, prompting Tehran to take remedial measures by gradually reducing its nuclear commitments under the deal.
Besides reimposing the anti-Iran sanctions lifted by the JCPOA, the US targeted the Iranian nation with several sets of additional bans under new pretexts and labels.
Now, with Trump gone, the new US administration under President Joe Biden says it seeks to rejoin the deal, but it has so far refused to take meaningful action to regain Iran’s trust and come back to compliance.
In an excessive demand, the US says Iran should first resume the nuclear commitments it has suspended in resorting to its legal retaliation rights defined in Article 26 of the agreement before Washington lifts the sanctions.
Tehran has firmly rejected that demand, saying it is up to the US, as the party that abandoned the JCPOA, to take the first step back toward the deal by removing all the anti-Iran sanctions practically and verifiably.