Iran, P4+1 set to resume sanctions removal talks in Vienna Thursday

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran’s chief negotiator to the Vienna talks Ali Bagheri-Kani speaks to the IRIB in Moscow, Russia on December 7, 2021.

Iran and the five other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal are set to start a new round of negotiations on Thursday, December 9, in the Austrian capital of Vienna, aimed at securing a removal of the sanctions imposed by the US on Iran after its withdrawal from the accord and reviving the embattled international document.

Iran’s chief negotiator to the Vienna talks Ali Bagheri-Kani, who is in Moscow for talks with Russian officials, on Tuesday announced the finalized date and said Tehran’s two proposed drafts put forward during the seventh round of talks with the other signatories to the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), can seriously advance the negotiation process.

He added that he “saw it necessary to hold consultations with Russian officials so that we will continue the negotiations on Thursday in a progressive and constructive atmosphere.”

Bagheri-Kani, who serves as Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, explained that the two proposed drafts were nothing new and were in compliance with the texts that had earlier been agreed upon by both sides during the previous six rounds of the talks, but with some amendments and additions meant to make up for the shortcomings.

The senior Iranian diplomat said the country had held similar consultations with Chinese officials as well since the beginning of the seventh round of the Vienna talks.

The JCPOA was abandoned by former US President Donald Trump in May 2018. Trump then targeted Iran’s economy with what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign, which failed to compel Iran to negotiate a “new deal.”

Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA began the talks in the Austrian capital in April with the aim of removing the sanctions after the US, under President Joe Biden, voiced a willingness to return to the agreement.

Diplomats from the participant countries gathered in Vienna on Monday for the seventh time, after a hiatus in the talks due to the presidential election in Iran. Five days of intensive talks ended on Friday after the sides returned to their respective capitals for more consultations.

Bagheri-Kani announced last week that Iran had submitted two proposed drafts to the other parties concerning the removal of sanctions and Tehran’s nuclear commitments, and is about to put forward a third draft.

Speaking to reporters at the end of the talks, he said the P4+1 group of countries had been given the chance to consult with their capitals on the Islamic Republic’s proposed drafts, and that Tehran expected a “reasonable, documented and rational” response.

In a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, Bagheri-Kani and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stressed the importance of continuing bilateral consultations on international issues and future talks between Iran and the P4+1.

Iranian MP: Ground fertile for win-win deal

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Mahmoud Abbaszadeh Meshkini told reporters on Tuesday that Tehran entered the new round of talks with the P4+1 countries with “goodwill and seriousness” and urged the opposite side, especially the Westerners, to follow suit so that the two sides could reach an agreement.

“Given what is in the possession of the Islamic Republic of Iran, it seems that the ground is fertile for a win-win agreement since Iran will not accept a win-lose negotiation at all,” the Iranian lawmaker added.

He said Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had presented a report to the committee on the recent talks with the P4+1 countries as well as other aspects of the country’s foreign policy.


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