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Return to talks on JCPOA revival ‘not in a distant future’: Russia envoy

Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to Vienna-based international organizations

The Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna says the resumption of talks on the revival of Iran’s nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is only a matter of time and will take place “not in a distant future.”

Mikhail Ulyanov made the remarks in a Tuesday tweet in which he said the participation of the signatories to the landmark deal in Vienna talks is “voluntary,” and depends on the interests of all participants.

Underlining that there is “no reasons to believe that Tehran is unwilling to continue the process,” Ulyanov said, “The return to the negotiating table is a matter of time, not in a distant future.”

“Participation in the #ViennaTalks is voluntary. It corresponds to the interests of all participants, including #Iran. We have no reasons to believe that #Tehran is unwilling to continue the process. The return to the negotiating table is a matter of time, not in a distant future,” he wrote in the tweet.

Ulyanov posted the tweet in response to a question whether Russia can help to bring Iran back to the negotiating table in Vienna.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has slammed US lack of commitment and Europe’s inaction regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, saying the Islamic Republic is ready for result-oriented talks on the agreement’s revival that would secure people’s rights and interests.

Iran and world powers, including the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, struck the JCPOA on July 14, 2015. Under the accord, Iran agreed to scale back some of its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

However, the US, under former President Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the deal three years later and reinstated crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic, although the country had been fully compliant with the deal.

Iran and the remaining signatories to the JCPOA have already held six rounds of talks in Vienna, which began after the US administration of President Joe Biden voiced willingness to rejoin the nuclear agreement, three years after Trump’s withdrawal.

Negotiators took a break from the talks after Ebrahim Raeisi emerged victorious in Iran’s June presidential election, waiting for Iran’s democratic transition to take place in order for them to be able to continue the talks, as disagreements remained unresolved on key issues.

Since the beginning of the Vienna talks, Tehran has argued that the US—as the first party that violated the JCPOA—needs to take the first step by returning to full compliance with the agreement. Tehran also says it will resume all of its nuclear commitments under the deal only after the US removes all the sanctions in practice.

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