Iran, P4+1 group of countries hold talks in Vienna

May 1, 2021 - 19:17

TEHRAN – Nuclear negotiators from Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal held another meeting to discuss the latest developments related to the issue of reviving the nuclear deal. 

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi led the Iranian negotiating team at the talks, which have been moving forward since they started in April. The main objective of the Vienna talks is to reach an agreement on how to revive the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

At the start of the meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, Araghchi said participants will discuss the outcome of the talks that were held at the level of expert groups. 

“After this meeting, delegations will return to capitals,” the top Iranian nuclear negotiator said. 

Araghchi held a “relatively long” meeting with the Russian envoy to the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov. 

“During this meeting, the two delegations re-coordinated their positions and stressed the need to maintain the closeness of the positions of the two countries,” Araghchi said in a statement. “The Russian side also reiterated its support for the nuclear deal and the need for the United States to lift sanctions on Iran.”

Ulyanov said the Saturday meeting of the JCPOA parties will “take stock of intermediate results of the Vienna talks on full restoration of the nuclear deal.”

He also said that all other JCPOA participants, except for Iran, held an informal meeting with the U.S negotiating delegation in Vienna to discuss the full restoration of the JCPOA. 

“JCPOA participants held today informal consultations with the #US delegation at the Vienna talks on full restoration of the nuclear deal (without #Iran who is still not ready to meet with US diplomats),” the Russian diplomat said on Twitter hours before Iran and the P4+1 group of countries hold another meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission.

Last week, negotiators at Vienna talks announced the establishment of another expert group in addition to the existing ones. 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 U.S. return to the JCPOA.

According to Araghchi, these groups held bilateral and multilateral meetings to announce positions and study draft texts over the past few days.

Following the Saturday meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, it was agreed that the talks will be resumed on Friday, according to a statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

According to the statement, participants discussed the latest developments related to the discussions of the three expert groups.

“It was decided that after this meeting, the delegations would return to the capitals and that the talks would resume next Friday,” the statement continued. “The parties agree that in the next round of talks, work should continue more quickly and seriously.”