Iran foreign minister: Agreement close in Vienna talks, ball in US court
Iran’s foreign minister says the negotiating parties in the Vienna talks on the revival of the 2015 Iran deal are close to reaching a final agreement, adding that the ball is now in US court.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a Sunday phone call with the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, during which the two sides discussed the current situation of talks on the revival of the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as well as other regional and international developments.
“We are close to an agreement in the negotiations and we have conveyed our proposals on the outstanding issues through the European Union’s top negotiator (Enrique Mora) to the US side, and the ball is now in US court,” Amir-Abdollahian said, according to a readout of the conversation provided by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Guterres, for his part, described the talks in the Austrian capital as important, expressing hope that the negotiating sides would reach an agreement soon.
Negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital since last April to restore the JCPOA, which was ditched by former US President Donald Trump in May 2018.
In quitting the agreement, Trump introduced what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign to bring Iran to its knees, but Tehran maintains that the policy has failed dismally. Officials in the administration of the incumbent US President Joe Biden have also admitted to this issue.
In recent months, however, Iran has cited Washington’s indecisiveness as the reason behind the protraction of the talks, as a number of key issues remain unresolved, ranging from the removal of all post-JCPOA sanctions to the provision of guarantees by the American side that it will not leave the deal again.
The other parties to the talks – Russia, China, France, the UK, and Germany – have also noted that the negotiators are close to finalizing an agreement.
Amir-Abdollahian, in a meeting with Mora last week, reiterated that the Vienna talks need a “political decision” by Washington to revive the JCPOA and remove the anti-Iran sanctions.