Saturday, 18 September, 2021


'First step:' US, Iran to begin indirect nuclear-limit talks

US agrees to begin indirect talks on Iran’s nuclear program Vienna meeting signals new push to revive Iran nuclear deal
Hannah Rogers | 03 April, 2021, 20:07

"We do not anticipate presently that there will be direct talks between the United States and Iran through this process, though the United States remains open to them", Price said. But Price added: "These remain early days, and we don't anticipate an immediate breakthrough as there will be hard discussions ahead". President Joe Biden has said the U.S. will rejoin the nuclear deal once Tehran returns to full compliance with its agreements under the deal. But Iran and the United States have disagreed over Iran's demands that sanctions be lifted first, and that deadlock has threatened to become an early foreign policy setback for the new US president.

"Participants agreed to resume this session of the Joint Commission in Vienna next week, in order to clearly identify sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation measures, including through convening meetings of the relevant expert groups", the Joint Commission said in a statement.

The source referred to the negotiations earlier on Friday within the framework of the joint commission of the parties the deal - officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - and said Iran, during the session, emphasized the necessity of a "consistent removal" of all the U.S. sanctions and its verification before Tehran's return to full compliance.

The State Department also confirmed Thursday that the USA had granted Iraq an extension to a sanctions waiver allowing it to import Iranian gas.

The Vienna talks will also include the governments of Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation which all remain parties and supporters of the nuclear deal negotiated under former U.S. president Barack Obama. She clarified that the summit will pursue two goals: discussing steps that Iran must take to return to compliance with the accord, and working out "sanctions relief steps" that the USA would also need to make in order to return to the JCPOA.

The aim of the talks in the Austrian capital is to reach an agreement within two months, according to a senior official with the European Union, the coordinator of the deal.

The US blacklisted Iran's energy industry in late 2018 as it ramped up sanctions, but granted Baghdad a series of temporary waivers, hoping Iraq would wean itself off Iranian energy by partnering with US firms. "The stakeholders seem to be ready for that".

Iran has said that before it resumes compliance with the deal, the US needs to return to its own obligations by dropping the sanctions. "It's a positive step, especially if it moves the ball forward on that mutual return to compliance that we've talked about for a number of weeks now". The JCPOA is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

As part of its ongoing violations of the deal, Iran last month began restricting inspections of its nuclear facilities. Iran now has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb, but nowhere near the amount it had before the nuclear deal was signed. Under a last-minute agreement worked out during a trip to Tehran, however, some access was preserved.

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