Iran, P4+1 hold all-day talks in Vienna

April 30, 2021 - 18:54

TEHRAN – Diplomats from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries held on Thursday intensive talks aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Top Iranian nuclear negotiator Seyed Abbas Araghchi said the talks began in the early hours of the morning and lasted until late at night. 

“Talks between Iran and the P4+1 group were intensively followed in Vienna yesterday, and meetings were held at various levels and formats from the early morning hours until late last night,” Araghchi, who serves as Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said in a statement on Friday noon. 

“A quadripartite meeting was also held yesterday between Seyed Abbas Araghchi, head of the Iranian negotiating team, and heads of delegations from three European countries,” the top Iranian negotiator added. 

Araghchi also met with the Deputy Secretary General and Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora, and Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

According to Araghchi, talks will continue on Friday on texts at various expert-level working groups. 

So far, the Vienna talks have resulted in the establishment of three expert-level working groups, one to identify the sanctions that the U.S. should remove in order to return to the JCPOA, and another to specify the nuclear activities that Iran should reverse. The third group was set up recently and is called “Expert Group on Practical Arrangements,” which is formed with the aim of holding talks on the practical arrangements required for the removal of sanctions and then the US return to the JCPOA. The Third group held its first meeting on Wednesday. 

These groups report their discussions to the JCPOA Joint Commission.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday that there are positive signs coming from Vienna talks and his regional talks with several regional countries such as Qatar, Iraq, Oman, and Kuwait.

“As DFM @araghchi ably leads Vienna talks on resuscitating JCPOA, I wind up my tour of the Persian Gulf in Kuwait, meeting PM H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid and FM Dr. Sheikh Ahmad Nasser. Focus: HOPE for our region. Indications of positive signs on horizon in both tracks,” the Iranian foreign minister said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, two informed Iranian sources told Press TV that the United States must first remove all sanctions that do not allow Iran to benefit from the nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), before the Islamic Republic accepts results of the ongoing talks in Vienna.

The sources told Press TV on Thursday that the Islamic Republic’s authorities would accept the outcomes of the ongoing Vienna talks on the revival of the JCPOA only when all sanctions unilaterally imposed on the country by the US are removed and Iran verifies the removal of sanctions.

According to Press TV, at the present time, the main hurdles that prevent Iran from taking full advantage of the JCPOA are executive orders 12959, 13599, 13876, and 13949 signed by the US president. Based on Press TV’s report, such U.S. acts as CAATSA and ISA as well as visa and U-turn regulations and the so-called Section 311 of the USA Patriot Act are other major obstacles that prevent Iran from availing itself of the full benefits of the JCPOA.

Press TV reported that other problems not allowing Iran to benefit from the JCPOA include non-removal of sanctions and temporary 120- and 180-day lifting of U.S. bans.

On Thursday, the informed Iranian sources told Press TV that the U.S. must accept that in case of restoration of sanctions, foreign companies would be authorized to continue to work with Iran for a period of four years.

Press TV also quoted informed Iranian sources as saying that the United States must accept that in case of Washington’s return to the JCPOA, it would never activate the so-called “snapback” mechanism of the nuclear deal.

The sources further told Press TV that the United States must accept to make up for all the losses incurred by Iran as a result of Washington’s illegal withdrawal from the JCPOA.

The remarks by the Iranian sources came after the Associated Press quoted “current and former US officials and others familiar with the matter” as saying that the Biden administration is considering a near wholesale rollback of some of the most stringent sanctions imposed on Iran in a bid to get the Islamic Republic to return to compliance with the JCPOA.
 

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