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    Breaking: Iran’s lead negotiator: Third round of Vienna talks reach ‘level of maturity’ on different issues
    NBS | Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 | Published: 12:31 pm

    Breaking: Iran’s lead negotiator: Third round of Vienna talks reach ‘level of maturity’ on different issues

    Iran’s lead negotiator says the third round of negotiations in Vienna to fully restore the 2015 nuclear agreement has concluded with some “maturity” and “clarity” while there remains a lengthy and bumpy road ahead.

    “I can say that the discussions have reached maturity, both on the issues that are contentious  and the issues over which there is agreement,” Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday afternoon, after the conclusion of the third round of talks in the Austrian capital.

    According to Press TV, Saturday’s meeting began at the Grand Hotel in Vienna earlier in the afternoon with the aim of summarizing the latest progress made during the talks that began early last month.

    The delegations were scheduled to leave Vienna for their respective capitals for consultations. They are expected to return to Vienna on Friday.

    In recent days, expert negotiations were held within three working groups that were formed to resolve technical issues hampering a full restoration of the nuclear agreement, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    Bilateral and multilateral meetings were also held to exchange views and coordinate efforts aimed at reaching a consensus on the path forward.

    Araqchi said the third round embodied “very intensive negotiations” at different levels and formats.

    He said differences between the sides, as they dived into technical issues, have become clearer and more specific.

    “We have specific subtle technical points and details on issues relating to [Iran’s] nuclear activities and the [US] sanctions, which need to be discussed,” he added. 

    The US has imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran since the JCPOA went into effect in January 2016. Washington began to adopt what it called the “maximum pressure” policy against the Islamic Republic under former President Donald Trump after he withdrew from the nuclear accord in May 2018.

    Iran argues that salvaging the JCPOA, which the Joe Biden administration has promised a return to, requires full and effective removal of all US sanctions imposed after the deal went into force. It says that only then, Tehran would reverse the “remedial measures” it has taken in response to the sanctions.

    Araqchi explained that although it is not predictable when and how the two sides can reach an agreement on the full restoration of the 2015 pact, “the format of any agreement will be definitely in accordance with the [Iranian] establishment’s positions.”

    He said the two sides are currently drafting texts over certain issues that they agreed upon.

    “This is where things move ahead very slowly because drafting a text needs precision,” the senior diplomat added.


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