Iran’s lead negotiator, E3 delegates, JCPOA Joint Commission coordinator meet in Vienna

Iran's chief negotiator to the Vienna talks Ali Bagheri Kani (3rd L) and Enrique Mora (4th R), the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief, meet in the Austrian capital on January 9, 2022. (Photo by IRNA)

As diplomatic efforts continue in the Austrian capital to secure the removal of all US sanctions on Tehran, chief negotiators from Iran and the three European signatories (E3) to the 2015 nuclear deal and the senior EU representative meet in Vienna.

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – resumed talks in Vienna on January 3 after the parties took a three-day break for the New Year. The US is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its pullout in 2018 from the landmark deal with Iran.

The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on December 27 with a focus on the removal of all sanctions that the United States imposed on Iran following its unilateral withdrawal from the historic deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), three years after its conclusion.

On Sunday, Iran's lead negotiator to the Vienna talks Ali Bagheri Kani and Enrique Mora, the European Union’s deputy foreign policy chief and head of the JCPOA Joint Commission, as well as representatives of the E3 held a meeting.

According to IRNA, bilateral and multilateral expert-level talks are also continuing. Iran's state news agency added that new representatives of Britain and Germany took part in the Sunday talks.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday after meetings with representatives of the P4+1 group of countries, the Iranian chief negotiator said the sides are resolving the outstanding issues and narrowing down the differences.

He added that the sanctions-removal talks are moving forward.

Later in the day, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said reaching a good agreement is possible in the ongoing talks in Vienna if the Western side possesses the required goodwill.

“Iran possesses the required will for reaching a good agreement. We can [therefore] reach a good agreement if the Western side is likewise in possession of such a good faith and will,” the top Iranian diplomat added.

During the previous round of the talks, the first under Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raeisi, Iran presented new proposals at the negotiating table to help the talks move forward and later criticized the European signatories of the JCPOA for failing to follow suit and remaining passive.

Russia says shares Iran’s view on narrowing differences

Meanwhile, the Russian chief negotiator to the Vienna negotiations, Mikhail Ulyanov, said in a tweet that Moscow shares Tehran's view about narrowing differences during the ongoing talks in the Austrian capital but emphasized that more time and effort are needed to achieve a desired result.

"We share this assessment. Progress is being made. But achieving the desired solution will require additional time and effort," Ulyanov, who also serves as the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, tweeted.

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