Iran, P4+1 announce pause in Vienna talks over revving JCPOA
Iran and the P4+1 group of countries have announced a pause in the Vienna talks on a possible revival of the 2015 Iran deal.
The pause was first announced in a tweet on Friday by the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, who said the break was needed due to what he called “external factors.”
“A final text is essentially ready and on the table,” Borrell said, adding that he and his team will be in contact with all the five parties to the 2015 deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the US to “overcome the current situation and to close the agreement.”
Replying to Borrell’s tweet shortly afterwards, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the pause in the Vienna talks could provide a “momentum” for resolving any remaining issues and a “final return” to the negotiations.
“Successful conclusion of talks will be the main focus of all [the parties involved],” Khatibzadeh tweeted.
He, however, said “no external factor” can affect the parties’ joint will “to go forward for a collective agreement.”
The US unilaterally left the 2015 Iran deal in 2018, and restored the sanctions that had been lifted under the accord. Washington’s European allies in the deal—France, Germany, and the United Kingdom—have been toeing the sanctions line closely by ending their trade activities with Iran.
The Vienna talks began last April between Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA —Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — on the assumption that the US, under the Biden administration, is willing to repeal the so-called maximum pressure policy pursued by former president, Donald Trump, against Tehran.
Iran says it won’t settle for anything less than the removal of all US sanctions in a verifiable manner. It also wants guarantees that Washington would not abandon the agreement again.