Talks between Iran and P4+1 group of countries to revive JCPOA resumes in Vienna
The eighth round of talks between senior representatives of Iran and the P4+1 group of countries on the revival of the 2015 deal has resumed in the Austrian capital of Vienna after a 10-day break.
Envoys from Iran and the five remaining signatories to the deal -- Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany--have been holding negotiations in the Austrian capital for 10 months with the aim of reviving the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), through bringing the US back to the deal.
The two sides have bridged some gaps since the talks began last year but differences remain, especially on the issue of US sanctions. Tehran wants all sanctions imposed by the administration of former US president Donald Trump removed and says the issue is its red line.
The eighth round of the negotiations were briefly put on hold as diplomats returned to their capitals for consultations.
On Tuesday, Iran's lead negotiator to the Vienna talks Ali Bagheri Kani met with Enrique Mora, the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief and head of the JCPOA Joint Commission, as well as head of the Russian delegation Mikhail Ulyanov.
In a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, in Tehran on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said despite progress in the talks, part of the Islamic Republic’s demands have not been taken into account yet.
Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.
In May 2019, following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by the other side.
The US administration of President Joe Biden says it is
willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has
retained the sanctions as leverage.