World Powers, Iran Hold 'Constructive' Talks on Reviving Nuclear Deal

Iran Nuclear Talks Resume In Vienna

The United States will attend talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration abandoned in 2018.

An EU official said working groups would be created with the aim of marrying lists of sanctions that the United States could lift and nuclear obligations that Iran should meet.

The Biden administration has aimed to restore the previous status quo, eroded by rising tensions between the US and Iran and their proxies in the Middle East.

The Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday that two expert groups will discuss the "technical details" on sanctions relief by Washington and nuclear compliance by Tehran and report back to the multilateral Joint Commission which oversees the deal.

"The U.S. should return unconditionally to the agreement, lift all illegal sanctions and stop its long-arm jurisdiction over third parties".

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said after the talks that they were constructive and heading in the right direction.

Iran confirmed in January it was enriching uranium to 20% purity, well beyond the threshold set by the 2015 deal. But Iran and the US have disagreed over Iran's demand that sanctions be lifted first.

But especially amid fierce pressure in Washington and from regional allies like Israel, a renewed nuclear deal would still leave a long road ahead for the Biden administration, which seeks to "lengthen and strengthen" the original agreement, including by addressing Iran's support for proxy forces across the region and its ballistic missile program.

In the latest announced violation, Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran's civilian nuclear program, said officials had begun mechanical testing of an IR-9 prototype centrifuge.

"But we're much better off talking about all of that if we could at least put the current nuclear issue to the side and not have to worry every day about what the latest Iranian announcement will be", Malley told NPR.

Under the agreement, Iran will no longer share surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities with the IAEA but it has promised to preserve the tapes for three months. Not just Iran, but the Russians and then the Chinese behind them.

"The Joint Commission meeting of JCPOA was successful". Otherwise, Iran has vowed to erase the recordings, narrowing the window for a diplomatic breakthrough.

The small window for negotiation will make it even more hard for the try to bring new concerns into the deal, such as Iran's regional influence and its ballistic missile program.

PressTV, an Iranian government media outlet, cited a "source close to the Iranian negotiating team" on Monday that similarly claimed, "Tehran will not accept any outcome of the Vienna meeting other than the removal of all sanctions", meaning it would not negotiate at all.

"We are confident that we are on the right track, and if America's will, seriousness and honesty is proven, it could be a good sign for a better future for this agreement", Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters. "And so we'll have to see how things go".

Zarif on Friday reiterated Iran's position that no additional talks on the JCPOA are needed, since the deal and its parameters have already been negotiated.

"No Iran-US meeting. Unnecessary", he tweeted.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric, asked for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' reaction to the meetings, said: "We welcome all of these efforts by the JCPOA hold constructive dialogue. As Coordinator I will intensify separate contacts here in Vienna with all relevant parties, including US", European Union chief coordinator Enrique Mora said on Twitter. "As we predicted at the height of the Trump administration's bullying and pressure, the United States eventually, frustrated by the wrong path, admit that maximum pressure has failed and that there is no choice but to revive the JCPOA and get all parties back to their commitments".



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