News ID: 319097
Published: 0420 GMT December 31, 2021

Good progress made in Vienna on sanctions removal, verification: Iran

Good progress made in Vienna on sanctions removal, verification: Iran

Iran’s top negotiator said on Thursday that good progress has been made during the latest round of talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with regard to the removal of sanctions and subsequent verification of sanctions removal.

“The issue of sanctions removal was the main focus of the talks. Iran and the other side continued their negotiations on multiple issues, including a number of sessions on the verification of sanctions removal,” Ali Baqeri Kani told reporters on Thursday before leaving the Austrian capital for Tehran after the negotiators adjourned for a few days on the occasion of the New Year holidays, Press TV reported.

He added that Iran held separate sessions on the issue of verification with Enrique Mora, the European Union’s political director who coordinates the Vienna talks, and negotiators of the three European signatories to the deal – France, Germany and Britain.

"There was also some exchange between the two sides on the issue of sanctions removal. Good progress was made during the first days of the eighth round,” Baqeri Kani added.

Iran’s top negotiator also expressed hope that after a few days of recess over the end-of-year holidays, more serious work would be pursued on the issue of sanctions removal by the other parties.

"We hope more serious work gets underway on the issue of sanctions removal once the delegations return to negotiations after the New Year holidays," he noted.

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries, including Russia and China, on Monday started the eighth round of the Vienna talks focused on the removal of all sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic after the United States in 2018 unilaterally withdrew from the agreement, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).


Russia: Agreement possible in first half of February

The Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna also talked to reporters following the conclusion of talks on Thursday, saying that in his opinion an agreement could be clinched by participants in the Vienna talks before the end of February 2022.

“I believe it is doable to achieve an agreement in first half of February; maybe a little bit earlier or later. Nobody can say precisely and accurately…. The most important thing is that we observe steady progress. It’s difficult but we move ahead,” Mikhail Ulyanov said.

The Russian diplomat added in a post on his twitter account that the eighth round of negotiations will resume on January 3.

"Informal consultations still continue within the framework of the #ViennaTalks. But time has come to take a New Year break. The 8th (not the 9th) round of negotiations on restoration of #JCPOA will resume on Monday, January 3," Ulyanov tweeted.


Also on Thursday, the spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry denied reports that the Iranian delegation is stalling the Vienna talks.

Speaking at a weekly briefing, Maria Zakharova said Russia sees no reasons to accuse Iran of stalling the Vienna talks.

"We don’t see any reasons to assert that the Iranian side is stalling this process," the Russian diplomat said, adding, "Actually, as Tehran has repeatedly stated, this is not in its interests because, while the JCPOA is stuck, illegitimate American sanctions continue to be in effect."

She noted that Washington "has already regretted several times the fatal decision by the previous administration to end the nuclear deal with Iran" when the US unilaterally "simply ran away" from the JCPOA.

"It is always more difficult to restore than to destroy," the Russian spokesman said, adding, "Washington has to tangibly support with concrete steps its numerous promises to return to the JCPOA.”

“It is obvious that the position of a violator of the UN Security Council resolution creates more and more discomfort for the Americans. On our part, we are doing everything necessary in order to help rectify the situation and we hope that intensive negotiating efforts at the Vienna venue will continue despite the counteraction of the opponents of the nuclear deal."

"We proceed from the premise that there is no alternative to the JCPOA," Zakharova said, adding, "We are confident that its full implementation will have a favorable impact on the political climate in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf region and, of course, will facilitate a decrease in tensions and the strengthening of trust in the region.”





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