The seventh round of talks on the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, wrapped up in the Austrian capital Vienna on Friday, with Iran demanding “logical response” from world powers to its draft proposals to revive the accord.
After the meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, Iranian lead negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani said other parties “were given the opportunity to consult” about Iran’s proposals that concerned two main issues facing the nuclear deal in their capitals, IRNA reported.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran expects the parties to provide a documented, reasonable and logical response to Iran’s drafts,” Baqeri Kani told reporters before flying to Tehran.
The top negotiator said during the meeting he told the P4+1 group (Britain, China, France and Russia plus Germany) that “the proposals regarding the removal of illegal and cruel sanctions and the nuclear issue are on the table” for review.
Baqeri Kani noted that the response to Iran’s proposals “would be the basis for negotiations”.
He said diplomats will return to Vienna to resume talks next week.
China's envoy Wang Qun said the talks would resume midweek. European Union political director Enrique Mora who coordinates the Vienna talks, when asked if talks would resume on Wednesday, said: "Around that."
On Thursday the two draft proposals were submitted to the P4+1 group and the EU, which has been unraveling since the United States' withdrawal in 2018 and the reimposition of sanctions on Iran.
The proposals concerned two main issues facing the JCPOA.
"The first document sums up the Islamic Republic's point of view concerning the removal of sanctions, and the second is about Iran's nuclear steps," Baqeri told Iran’s national TV on Thursday.
"Now the other side must examine these documents and prepare itself to hold negotiations with Iran based on these documents."
The talks recommenced in Vienna on Monday after Iran paused them in June for its presidential election. The US is not attending the talks but has a team in Vienna.
US urged to remove sanctions
Earlier on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a phone conversation with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, urged the West to focus on the removal of US sanctions on Iran.
The West “needs to offer its true initiative to remove the sanctions and put an end to the repetition of previous rhetoric that violates the rights and interests of the Iranian people,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
“In any negotiations and measures, the complete removal of the sanctions that run counter to the JCPOA is our common goal,” he pointed out, according to Press TV.
Borrell called the resumption of talks an important event, calling on all sides to be flexible in the negotiations.
Speaking with his Japanese counterpart on the phone on Thursday, Amir-Abdollahian questioned the will of the US and the European parties for striking a deal.
"We went to Vienna with serious determination, but we are not optimistic about the will and the intention of the United States and the three European parties to the deal," he said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday also sounded pessimistic about the chances of reaching a deal, saying he had little cause for optimism.
"I have to tell you, recent moves… don't give us a lot of cause for ... optimism," Blinken told reporters in Stockholm.
In another development, Iran urged negotiating delegates do not take orders from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who had asked world powers to immediately stop the Vienna talks
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Bennett’s demand revealed Israel’s “true color again”.
No 90% enrichment
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Wednesday said Iran had started the process of enriching uranium to up to 20% purity with one cluster of 166 advanced IR-6 machines at its Fordo facility.
Since April, Iran has been enriching uranium to 60% fissile purity at the Natanz nuclear site. Last month, Iran said it increased its stockpile of 60% enriched uranium to 25 kilograms.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi rejected speculations about uranium enrichment to the level of 90% purity in Iran.
“There is no 90% enrichment at the moment in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Grossi told French broadcaster France 24 on Wednesday.