Iran, world powers hold fourth round of nuclear talks

May 7, 2021 - 21:39

TEHRAN – Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal held another meeting on Friday to discuss the latest developments concerning the nuclear deal.

During the meeting, participants agreed to expedite talks and start working on a draft text of the final agreement to revive the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Friday meeting has marked the start of the fourth round of nuclear talks, which is taking place in the Austrian capital of Vienna within the framework of the JCPOA Joint Commission.

The Friday Joint Commission was chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by the Deputy Secretary General/Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora. Seyed Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, led the Iranian delegation. Araghchi met with Mora ahead of the meeting. He also met with the Chinese envoy to the Vienna talks on the sideline of the meeting.

The European Union said in a statement on Thursday that participants would “continue their discussions in view of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and on how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA.”

Araghchi issued a brief statement shortly after the JCPOA Joint Commission. He said that during the meeting “it was decided to start expert and technical consultations and work on the draft texts immediately.”

The statement added, “All parties reaffirmed their seriousness to achieve the result in the shortest possible time.”

The Friday meeting also opened a new round of talks, according to Ulyanov.

“The Joint Commission of JCPOA at its meeting today opened a new round of the talks on full restoration of the nuclear deal. The participants agreed on the need to intensify the process. The delegations seem to be ready to stay in Vienna as long as necessary to achieve the goal,” Ulyanov said on Twitter.

Earlier on Thursday, the Russian diplomat said that Iranian and U.S. delegations at the Vienna talks have provided “cautious” assessments about the talks.

“The Head of the Iranian delegation is cautious in his assessment of the current state of affairs at the Vienna talks (very similar to assessments of the U.S. colleagues). But both Iran and U.S. refrain from pessimistic conclusions. This seems to be not a bad sign as of the moment,” Ulyanov said.

He was responding to comments by Araghchi that there is a lot of agreement but also many barriers ahead.

“As I said before, we are on a specified path about which there are fortunately agreements, but there are serious obstacles in the way as well,” the top Iranian nuclear negotiator said after a meeting with Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi.

“We have a long way ahead the timing of which is impossible to imagine or predict, and it would be unrealistic if we want to enter into the timing discussion,” he pointed out.

SM/PA

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