Meeting To Revive Iran Nuclear Deal Begins In Vienna

Above photo: The session of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA kicked off in the Grand Hotel in Vienna. Prior to the meeting, Iranian Deputy FM Araghchi held a bilateral meeting with deputy Secretary General of EEAS, Enrique Mora. Twitter/@AbasAslani.

The meeting sought the return to the agreement implemented in 2016, which the Trump Administration abandoned in 2018.

The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—the Iran nuclear deal—resumed talks in Vienna on Tuesday, with the lifting of sanctions on Iran and nuclear implementation measures at the center of the agenda.

Representatives from Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union met for an hour. Although not at the session, the US envoy remained a few meters away from the venue, which was understood as a gesture of willingness to rescue the agreement.

Several participants qualified the meeting as positive, including Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, who stressed the “success” of the meeting.

“The meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission was successful. Two expert groups [on sanctions lifting and nuclear issues] were tasked with identifying concrete steps taken by Washington and Tehran to restore the full implementation of the JCPOA. The groups started work immediately,” Ulyanov wrote on Twitter.

In turn, the French Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying, “France welcomes today’s resumption of talks in Vienna on the nuclear dossier. The ongoing discussions should make it possible to reach in the immediate future an agreement on the actions necessary for the full return of Iran and the U.S. to compliance with the nuclear pact.”

The commission’s coordinator, Spain’s Enrique Mora, said on his Twitter account that the meeting was “constructive.”

“There is unity and ambition for a joint diplomatic process with two groups of experts on nuclear implementation and lifting of sanctions,” he noted.

Top Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi told Press TV outside the venue in Vienna that the United States must lift its anti-Iran sanctions altogether and in one step if it truly seeks to rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement.

The deputy foreign minister for political affairs said, “They (Americans) have left the JCPOA, and they have imposed sanctions. So obviously, if they want to come back, they will have to lift all those sanctions, all together, in one step.”

For the time being, the two groups created began work on Tuesday, a process that could last “several weeks,” according to the Russian representative.