EU’s Mora: Iran, US should take ‘difficult political decisions’
Iran on Tuesday expressed optimism about the prospects for a “good deal” a day after talks on the revival of the 2015 nuclear accord recommenced in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Negotiators from Iran and the P4+1, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, resumed the eighth round with a focus on the removal of US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“The talks are in a good direction,” Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
“If the opposing sides continue the talks… in good faith, reaching a good deal for all parties will be possible,” Amir-Abdollahian added.
Seriousness in negotiations can make a deal “conceivable in the near future”.
‘Key to success’
The talks are aimed at bringing the United States back to compliance with the multilateral pact three years after its unilateral withdrawal that saw former president Donald Trump reimposing and reinforcing sanctions that had been lifted under the accord.
Iran insists that the US must remove all those sanctions in a verifiable manner before rejoining the agreement, which is formally called the JCPOA.
“The key to success of the Vienna talks is to reach a deal on the effective and practical lifting of sanctions,” Iran’s top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani said after Monday’s meeting in Vienna.
Baqeri Kani said other parties agreed that the issue of the removal of sanctions should be “seriously on the agenda”.
“This is a promising sign,” he pointed out.
Iran on Monday stressed that the talks should proceed on a basis that would eventually work out mechanisms for guarantees and verification on the lifting of US sanctions.
The Islamic Republic demands assurances that the US government will not walk out of the JCPOA again in the future.
“The more serious the other side is to accept the mechanisms Iran seeks for the removal of sanctions, especially in the two issues of verification and guarantee, the shorter time we would need to reach an agreement,” Baqeri Kani said.
“The Islamic Republic has stated that if an agreement is reached, the party that violated the deal, the United States, needs to first remove the sanctions, then Iran would verify [the process], and after that it would fulfill its nuclear obligations within the framework of the JCPOA,” he added.
Enrique Mora, the European Union political director who chairs the Vienna talks, said on Monday that all sides were showing “a clear will to work toward the successful end of this negotiation”.
“It’s a very good sign… If we work hard in the days and weeks ahead we should have a positive result.... It's going to be very difficult, it's going to be very hard,” Mora told a news conference.
He said both Iran and the US have to take “difficult political decisions”.
"There is a sense of urgency in all delegations that this negotiation has to be finished in a relatively reasonable period of time. Again, I wouldn't put limits but we are talking about weeks, not about months," the EU coordinator added, according to Reuters.
Mora said he decided to reconvene the talks during many officials' holidays between Christmas and the New Year so as not to lose time, but he added that talks would stop for three days as of Friday "because the facilities will not be available", referring to the hotel hosting most meetings.
When the seventh round wrapped up, incorporating Iranian demands, negotiators from France, Britain and Germany said in a statement talks “are rapidly reaching the end of the road”.