EU optimistic about resolving differences in Vienna talks

TEHRAN, Feb. 09 (MNA) – European diplomats are optimistic about efforts by Iran and the US to close remaining differences on steps to revive the 2015 nuclear deal in the near future, EU high representative for foreign affairs Josep Borrell said.

Both sides are considering written proposals and "I see that we are in the last meters of the game," Borrell told reporters at the conclusion of a two-day visit to Washington, DC.

Borrell endorsed the US interpretation of the quick timeline for wrapping up indirect US-Iran talks in Vienna — the latest round of that diplomacy started in Vienna today. The talks will have to conclude before advances in Iran's nuclear program make the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal impossible to restore, he said.

The 2015 deal, more formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, the UK, China, Russia, and France — plus Germany and the EU. Despite the International Atomic Energy Agency's acknowledgement of Iran's adherence to all of its obligations, the US former government unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted.

Former US President Donald Trump also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

Amid the indifference of the JCPOA parties toward continued US violations of the JCPOA, in December 2020, the Iranian Parliament passed the Law on "Strategic Action Plan to Counter Sanctions and Protect Rights of the People" that prompted the Iranian administration to restrict the IAEA’s inspections and accelerate the development of the country’s nuclear program beyond the limits set by the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.

Iran has also increased the level of uranium enrichment beyond the level allowed under the JCPOA in accordance with the accord itself.

Officials in the current US administration, while acknowledging that the policy of maximum pressure has failed, intend to bring their country back to the JCPOA.

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — have been holding negotiations in the Austrian capital for 10 months in a bid to resurrect the JCPOA.

The eighth round of Vienna talks resumed on Tuesday with a bilateral meeting between Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran's chief negotiator, and Enrique Mora from the EU, the coordinator of the talks.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stated that it is seeking a stable and reliable agreement and the US sanctions need to be removed in a verifiable manner, as well as Washington should provide guarantees that it will not pull out again.

ZZ/5420568

News Code 183744

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