Thursday , 29 July 2021

Negotiators To Resume Iran Nuclear Talks Amid Disagreements

RFL/RE – Negotiators are set to resume talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal amid reports of disagreements on several key issues.

The June 20 talks are part of the latest round of negotiations involving Iran and six world powers that have been going on in Vienna since April.

Iran’s top negotiator, Abbas Aqaqchi, said the sides had moved closer to reviving the 2015 deal, and he expected delegations to return to their respective capitals for consultations after the June 20 talks conclude.

“We are now closer than ever to an agreement but the distance that exists between us and an agreement remains and bridging it is not an easy job,” Araqchi told Iranian state TV.

The United States in 2018 withdrew from the landmark pact, under which Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear ambitions in exchange for a lifting of many foreign sanctions against it.

Officials have recently indicated that differences remain on key issues. The French Foreign Ministry said on June 16 that “significant disagreements persist.”

“The Joint Commission of #JCPOA will meet on Sunday, June 20,” Russian negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter.

“It will decide on the way ahead at the #ViennaTalks. An agreement on restoration of the nuclear deal is within reach but is not finalized yet.”

The remaining parties to the deal are Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany, and the European Union.

The United States is present, but not directly negotiating, mainly due to Iran’s refusal to meet face-to-face. Instead, the U.S. delegation is at a nearby location in Vienna, with the other delegations and EU as go-betweens.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal, Tehran has rebuilt some of its stockpiles of enriched uranium, a potential pathway to weapons.

Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, has indicated a willingness to rejoin the agreement once Washington is certain that Tehran is willing to respect its commitments.

Further complicating the talks was the victory of ultraconservative judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi in Iran’s presidential election on June 18.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters