US believes that Vienna talks may be resumed by yearend

TEHRAN, Dec. 18 (MNA) – The US Department of State believes that another round of Vienna talks may be organized by the end of the year, a high-ranking official in the US Department of State said.

Speaking during a special telephone news briefing, the official said it was certainly possible that the talks could be resumed by the end of this year and the United States were ready for them adding that participants of the Joint Commission of Iran and the International Quintet (Russia, the UK, Germany, China and France) shared this stance, TASS reported.

The official also claimed that the break in talks was requested by the Iranian side and it was not a decision on behalf of the United States to leave Vienna.

Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA -- Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China -- began the talks in the Austrian capital in April with the aim of removing the sanctions after the US, under President Joe Biden, voiced its willingness to return to the agreement.

During the first round of the Vienna talks under President Raeisi, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US sanctions and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. Tehran also said it was preparing a third draft text on the verification of the sanctions removal.

Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani on Friday at the end of another round of talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna said that the pace of reaching an agreement depends on the will of the opposite side, adding, "If the other side accepts the rational views and positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the new round of talks can be the last one and we can achieve a deal in the shortest possible time."

He added that Iran and the P4+1 group of countries reached “two new documents for talks both on the issue of sanctions and on the nuclear issue,” referring to the bans that the US imposed on Iran after withdrawing from the deal and the retaliatory nuclear steps that Tehran took away from the accord.

He said the European signatories to the JCPOA — Britain, France and Germany— exerted pressure on Iran at first to make it retreat from its positions and insisted that the negotiations should move forward within the framework of the previous six rounds of the Vienna talks.

Faced with Iran’s resistance and logical arguments, the opposite side finally agreed to accept Iran’s positions as “a basis for serious, result-oriented” negotiations, the senior official added.

ZZ/

News Code 181888

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