Iran and the other parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Saturday resumed a sixth round of talks in Vienna in a possibly final push to resuscitate the troubled accord.
Iran, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China have been negotiating in the Austrian capital since April in order to bring the United States back to compliance with the accord after US President Joe Biden voiced readiness to reenter it.
The agreement – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – has been progressively collapsing since Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump walked out of it and reimposed “toughest ever” sanctions on Iran in order to force Tehran to renegotiate the deal.
“The participants are expected to continue consultations on the possible return of the United States to the nuclear accord and ensuring the full and effective implementation of this agreement,” Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s top negotiator at the talks, said on his channel on the Telegram messaging app.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged all sides to show flexibility and pragmatism in the talks.
“It is about flexibility and pragmatism from all participating parties,” Maas told Reuters.
“Playing for time is in no-one’s interest,” he added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday there were few outstanding issues left to resolve in the talks.
Ryabkov said there were no longer any insurmountable obstacles left.
Iran wants the United States to remove all sanctions imposed by Trump before rejoining the JCPOA. But the US says Iran first needs to roll back retaliatory nuclear measures it took in response Trump’s withdrawal before getting a relief from sanctions.
But Iran insists that all sanctions should first be removed in a verifiable manner before reversing its “remedial measures”.
Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi on Friday said Washington is still pushing ahead with Trump “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran.
“The current US administration’s claim of policy change toward the JCPOA is just in words. In practice, the US policy of maximum pressure still continues, preventing Iran from using its own financial resources abroad to import medicines,” Takht-Ravanchi said while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, according to Press TV.
“Although the ongoing talks in Vienna are the first step in assessing the accuracy of the true political will of the US to return to the JCPOA, the main and real test will be after verification, when it is proven that America has changed course, abandoned its failed policy of maximum pressure, and stopped its economic terrorism against Iran.”