Vienna talks may be resumed in late Dec. or early Jan.

TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (MNA) – The next round of the Vienna talks may begin in late December or early January 2022, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations said.

"As for the date for the resumption of talks, there is no complete clarity. The issue of the date is open. As far as I understand, there are two options: either to resume the work on December 27, at least at the expert level within the framework of the eighth round, or on January 3, when everyone is ready for that. The Russian delegation is ready to work without breaks," Mikhail Ulyanov told TASS on Friday.

Cooperation between Russia and the United States at the Vienna talks on the restoration of the Iran nuclear deal is pragmatic and meets the interests of both countries, Ulyanov said.

"As the head of the Russian delegation, I am quite satisfied with the quality of our cooperation with US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley, who leads the US delegation to these talks," he said.

He described the two countries’ efforts as inspiring hope as they have made it possible to reach serious progress during the seventh round of the Vienna talks.

"Our cooperation is purely pragmatic. The United States and Russia are interested in restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and lifting the US sanctions imposed under the Donald Trump administration," Ulyanov said. "This is the basis we can build cooperation on. I hope such cooperation will be continued."

Elsewhere in his remarks on Vienna talks, he said that participants in talks have cleared the way for editing the existing documents. 

"Now, the way is clear for intensive work on editing the documents that are on the negotiating table. This is the key result, I think," he stressed.

According to the Russian diplomat, participants in the talks have got somewhat used to each other.

"I think we and the Western participants have begun to understand better which steps would be right to be made next," he added.

He said that the Russian delegation understood all the difficulties of the talks and the results of the previous round have lived up to expectations. "The bottom line is that no one was seeking to damage the results of the previous six rounds," Ulyanov noted.

Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA resumed talks in Vienna on November 29 after a five-month pause, marking the first round of negotiations under President Ebrahim Raeisi’s administration.

The Islamic Republic maintains that its presence at the talks is intended to have the US sanctions removed, which would, in turn, secure a US return to the nuclear deal.

The US, which is not allowed to directly participate in the talks as a result of its 2018 withdrawal from the JCPOA, claims that it is willing to undo the withdrawal and repeal its “maximum pressure” policy against Iran.

Iran argues that the onus is on Washington to return to the nuclear deal after removing its illegal sanctions and offering guarantees that it will not exit the pact again.

ZZ/

News Code 181886

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