Iran, P4+1 start drafting nuclear deal, Russia says

April 20, 2021 - 10:22

TEHRAN – Diplomats from Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have entered the stage of drafting a new agreement to revive the nuclear deal, the Russian envoy to the Vienna nuclear talks said on Monday.

Russia’s representative to the international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov expressed satisfaction with the fact that negotiating teams in Vienna started drafting a new agreement on how to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“Summing up the results of 2 weeks of deliberations on JCPOA restoration we can note with satisfaction that the negotiations entered the drafting stage. Practical solutions are still far away, but we have moved from general words to agreeing on specific steps towards the goal,” Ulyanov said on Twitter.

The tweet came two days after a top Iranian nuclear negotiator announced that the talks are leading to a “new understanding”. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi, who is leading Iran’s negotiating team in the Vienna nuclear deal talks, said on Saturday that serious disagreements remain but that his country was working on a draft text for reviving the accord that could work as a framework for subsequent discussions.

He said after almost three days of the JCPOA Joint Commission's work, they have formed a commission once again to examine the progress of the discussions that have taken place so far.

The top negotiator noted that not only in the field of lifting sanctions but also in the nuclear issue they reviewed the working groups’ report, adding that good discussions took place within the JCPOA Joint Commission.

He further noted that it seems a new understanding is being formed and there is an agreement on the ultimate goal among all parties, adding that the path that needs to be taken is a path that is now somewhat more well-known, according to the official website of the Iranian government.

The path will not be easy and there are some disagreements, he highlighted.

He stated that there are sometimes serious disagreements that need to be modified during the next negotiations.

EU's Borrell cites progress in nuclear talks

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, also said on Monday he saw a willingness to save the nuclear deal.

"I think that there is real good will among both parties (Iran and the United States) to reach an agreement, and that's good news," Borrell said, citing progress but not giving details.

According to Reuters, the EU chief diplomat added, "I think that both parties are really interested in reaching an agreement, and they have been moving from general to more focused issues, which are clearly, on one side sanction-lifting, and on the other side, nuclear implementation issues."

As Iran has said many times, the Islamic Republic is not interested in long-term negotiations at all and as much as needed, discussions should be considered and negotiations would continue, Araghchi reiterated.

He went on to say that the negotiations have reached a stage where the parties can start working on a common text and start writing the text at least in areas where there is a sharing of opinion.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, reiterated that progress has been made in the Vienna talks.

Speaking at a weekly press briefing on Monday, Khatibzadeh said, “What is happening in Vienna is a technical dialogue on how to lift the U.S. sanctions and return the U.S. government to its obligations under the JCPOA and Resolution 2231. We are on the right track and progress has been made, but that does not mean that the talks have reached the final stage.”

He added, “As our delegation is not in Vienna for attritional talks, we tried to present our own texts and asked the other side to enter into common examples and texts immediately. The sooner this happens, the better we can think about the outcome. It’s too early to think about it. We are now at a stage where discussions on difficult issues need to take place. We are not in a hurry. What is important is that we can serve the interests of the great people of Iran within the framework of the instructions of the Leader of the Revolution and the general policy of the system.”

According to Khatibzadeh, Iran has expressed all its views decisively within the framework of the general policies of the system.

“Of course, there are difficult issues, and we think it will be easier if the U.S. government decides to distance itself from Trump’s failed legacy and try to live up to its commitments,” the spokesman pointed out.

Iran said it is trying to present a clear image regarding the U.S. sanctions. Iran’s ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations Kazem Gharibabadi noted that Identifying and listing the steps for the removal of sanctions are necessary in order to examine how serious Washington is in its claim about being willing to return to and fully honor the JCPOA.

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