Iran and six world powers have adjourned talks in Vienna over the 2015 nuclear deal for consultations in their capitals, Iran’s top negotiator and the European Union's envoy to the negotiations said on Sunday.
Speaking after the sixth round of talks in the Austrian capital, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said that the remaining important issues need serious decisions in the capitals of the negotiating countries.
Araqchi called on the parties involved to “realistically” make the necessary decisions “with seriousness and a strong will” in order to revive the tattered agreement.
The latest meeting between Iran, Russia, China, Britain, Germany and France as well as the EU as the coordinator, was part of regular discussions since early April, aimed at bringing the US back to the landmark agreement, known as the JCPOA, and Iran back into compliance with curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The deal was thrown into disarray in 2018 when former US president Donald Trump withdrew and reimposed sanctions, leading Iran in turn to step up its nuclear activities from 2019 onward.
“We are now closer than ever to an agreement but the distance that exists between us and an agreement remains, and bridging it is not an easy job,” Araqchi said prior to the meeting.
Enrique Mora, the EU’s negotiator, gave no indication when the talks would resume, but said progress had been made and that the participants would have a clearer idea of how to close a deal when they return.
He added that he expected the international nuclear watchdog and Tehran to reach an agreement on extending a monitoring deal of Iran’s nuclear activities that ends on June 24, Reuters reported.
Russia’s envoy Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters that nobody knew when the talks would resume but tweeted that the participants “took stock of the significant progress made at the Vienna talks”.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that issues in the Vienna talks are not “insurmountable “and he hoped to achieve a result before August when a new Iranian government will take office, with Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi at the helm.