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New round of Vienna talks on Iran nuclear deal adjourned without breakthrough

December 3, 2021 at 6:20 pm

Iran nuclear talks in the Austrian capital Vienna on 29 November 2021 [EU Vienna Delegation/Anadolu Agency]

The latest round of talks between Iran and other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna ended on Friday without any significant breakthrough, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The parties — Iran and the P4+1 countries — are expected to reconvene in the Austrian capital next week after holding consultations in their respective capitals.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the joint commission of the nuclear deal, also known as the joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA), in the afternoon.

Iran’s lead negotiator, Ali Bagheri-Kani, told reporters after the meeting that other parties — most notably the Europeans — felt the need to hold consultations with their capitals before taking a call on Iran’s draft proposals.

He said the Iranian delegation during the meeting stressed that its two proposals — on lifting of sanctions and the nuclear commitments — were on the table.

The proposals were submitted by the Iranian delegation on Thursday after four days of intense deliberations marked by tensions.

In his remarks on Thursday, Bagheri said the European parties need to “study” the two draft proposals and return for “serious discussions,” and stressed on lifting of sanctions before discussions on nuclear related issues.

The talks resumed on Monday after a five-month hiatus, with a new Iranian team on the table with a new set of demands and proposals, suggesting a tougher stance.

READ: Israel’s Mossad pledge to do ‘whatever it takes’ to stop Iran develop nuclear weapons

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Minister, in a call with European Union’s Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, described the process of negotiations in Vienna “good but slow.”

A statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the top Iranian diplomat praised the efforts made by Borrell and his colleagues, while stressing that Iran has come to Vienna “with goodwill.”

He emphasised that any negotiations or actions by the parties must be “aimed at lifting anti-JCPOA sanctions.”

A statement attributed to French President, Emmanuel Macron, said the latest round of talks in Vienna were “unsuccessful.”

The former US administration had unilaterally withdrawn from the deal in May 2018, three years after Iran and the world powers signed the landmark agreement, which was followed by reinstatement of sanctions on Tehran.

Since May 2019, Iran has taken a series of measures to scale up its nuclear activities, with enrichment surging from 4.5 per cent to 60 per cent, raising eyebrows in the West.

Meanwhile, the US has threatened to explore “other options” if Vienna talks do not produce an outcome, while Israel has warned against continuing with any talks with Iran.