Iran chief negotiator meets E3, Chinese, Russian counterparts

December 13, 2021 - 21:38

TEHRAN – Iran’s top negotiator in Vienna held meetings with his European, Russian and Chinese counterparts amid intense negotiations over removing U.S. sanctions on Iran that resumed in late November after a months-long hiatus.

Ali Bagheri Kani, deputy foreign minister of Iran who leads the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna, met with the chief negotiators of the E3- France, Germany and Britain - at Vienna’s Palais Coburg Hotel on Saturday afternoon as talks continued in the Austrian capital. 

“Also, negotiations were held between delegations at various levels and in different formats. Bilateral and multilateral meetings will also happen on Sunday,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday. 

Bagheri also met with his Russian and Chinese counterparts on Sunday. “This afternoon I held a constructive & fruitful meeting with Russian & Chinese chief negotiators,” Bagheri said on Twitter. 

He added, “We shared ideas about how to proceed & also coordinated our positions about several issues. We will continue our intensive & serious engagement to reach a good deal.”

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s envoy to the talks, said the trilateral meeting discussed issues related to ongoing Vienna talks. “The delegations of China, Iran and Russia held another round of trilateral consultations today on issues related to the on-going Vienna Talks on JCPOA,” the Russian diplomat tweeted. 

Earlier, Ulyanov stated that a third working group on sequencing held a meeting for the first time since the talks resumed in late November. 

During the current round of talks, Iran presented two draft proposals about the nuclear and sanctions spheres that are needed to be taken if the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is to be resuscitated. There have been disagreements between Iran and the Europeans on the proposals. But it seems that the differences are being solved.

On Monday, Ulyanov suggested that the negotiators have managed to bridge the gap between the two sides. “The negotiators managed to reconcile the new Iranian ideas and the need for continuity of Vienna Talks. The work will continue on the basis of the previous drafts. The Iranian proposals will be properly considered and either incorporated or rejected or modified. Normal practice,” the Russian diplomat noted.

Bagheri Kani has told Iran’s state media that has not received any constructive initiative or proposal from the opposite side during the ongoing negotiations in the Austrian capital.

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