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Tough talks ahead for Iran nuclear deal

ANKARA, TURKEY - DECEMBER 09: Hakki Uygur, head of the Center for Iranian Studies (IRAM) poses during an exclusive interview in the Turkish capital of Ankara on December 09, 2021. Long-awaited talks on the Iran nuclear deal which resumed last week in Vienna after a five-month hiatus may end up in reconciliation, according to one political analyst. “Neither Iran nor the P4+1 countries – Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – wants the deal to collapse. Even if the two sides don’t reach an ideal agreement, they may find middle ground,” Hakki Uygur, head of the Center for Iranian Studies (IRAM) in the Turkish capital of Ankara, told Anadolu Agency. ( Metin Aktaş - Anadolu Agency )
Hakki Uygur, head of the Center for Iranian Studies (IRAM) poses during an exclusive interview in the Turkish capital of Ankara on December 09, 2021 [Metin Aktaş - Anadolu Agency]

Long-awaited talks on the Iran nuclear deal which resumed last week in Vienna after a five-month hiatus may end up in reconciliation, according to one political analyst, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Neither Iran nor the P4+1 countries – Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – wants the deal to collapse. Even if the two sides don't reach an ideal agreement, they may find middle ground," Hakki Uygur, head of the Center for Iranian Studies (IRAM) in the Turkish capital of Ankara, told Anadolu Agency.

"The cessation of negotiations and an escalation in the military tension would not be a scenario preferred by either side," he said.

It would not be a good option for Iran, as its economy has tumbled in recent years into a recession under US sanctions, he pointed out.

On Nov. 29, in Vienna, Iran and world powers kicked off talks in a last-ditch attempt to restore the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the deal's formal name – after talks stalled following a government change in Iran this June.

READ: Assad, North Korea, Iran developing nuclear reactor, Syria opposition member claims

The latest round of talks ended last week without any significant breakthrough.

During the negotiations, Iran submitted two draft proposals to the Europeans, one on lifting sanctions and another on nuclear commitments.

"We saw harsh reactions by the EU and US against the proposals, accusing Iran of expecting too much," said Uygur.

The new Iranian delegation, under a new government, took a tougher stance than its predecessor, provoking a backlash from the US, which accused Tehran of not being serious.

On Dec. 3, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Iran does not seem serious about returning to the parameters of the nuclear deal that set limits on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Uygur stressed that we do not know details about the proposals as they were not made public, adding that this secrecy shows that the negotiations can continue.

Iran and the P4+1 countries reconvened in the Austrian capital on Thursday after holding consultations in their respective capitals.

Following a joint commission meeting, Iran's lead nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, said the parties have a "serious will" to continue talks, which shows that they want to "narrow the gaps."

On whether other parties have responded to the two draft proposals, Bagheri said the issue will be discussed in working group meetings.

After the meeting, Enrique Mora, the top EU representative and coordinator of the talks, said the parties will continue talks "until an agreement is reached."

READ: EU asks Iran to address concerns over nuclear program

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