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Teheran sees progress in nuclear talks

China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-14 10:01

European External Action Service (EEAS) Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora and Iranian Deputy at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abbas Araghchi wait for the start of talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, Austria June 20, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Negotiations in Vienna near conclusion, foreign ministry notes in positive tone

TEHERAN-Iran signaled on Monday that officials believe talks in Vienna aimed at reviving a nuclear deal struck between the Islamic republic and world powers are nearing a conclusion.

"Given the progress that has been made (in the recent negotiations), we can say that we are close to the conclusion of the Vienna talks," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a news conference.

He said there are some unresolved issues, but what matters is that "the weight of resolved issues outweighs that of the unresolved issues".

Since the fresh negotiations were initiated in April, much ground has been covered in tackling the outstanding issues, Khatibzadeh said. Though the remaining path is not smooth, he said.

"We hope that other parties could make their own decisions which will result in an agreement to benefit everyone."

Khatibzadeh noted that what Iranian officials unanimously agree upon is that the United States should remove the sanctions it has imposed against Iran. Teheran would then resume its obligations "as soon as full implementation of the deal is verified", he said.

The spokesman stressed that extra demands raised by some parties that go beyond the original agreement are irrelevant to a potential deal arising from the talks.

The nuclear agreement-officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA-was struck in 2015. The US, which was among the signatories, withdrew from the deal in 2018.

Asking about progress in the talks, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday that the US will not impose a deadline on the negotiations involving the other signatories to the deal, soon to enter a seventh round, and that only Teheran can determine when talks with the US will start.

"We're not imposing a deadline on these talks, but … we are conscious that as time proceeds Iran's nuclear advances will have a bearing on our view of ultimately returning to the JCPOA," Price said.

Motion drafted

Some Iranian lawmakers have drafted a motion that seeks to ban any talks between Iran and the US unless they are approved by the parliament, the Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.

The lawmakers said the Iranian parliament was not informed about the details of the negotiations between Iran and the US that resulted in the 2015 deal. "Unfortunately, the United States reneged on the promises on the JCPOA," the lawmakers said.

"Therefore, in order to prevent the re-abuse … it is necessary for any (Iranian) government to firstly seek parliament's approval for any negotiation with the US officials."

Under the 2015 deal, Teheran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for an easing in economic sanctions.

After the US' withdrawal from the deal, accompanied by stepped-up sanctions, Iran gradually stopped implementing parts of its commitments to the agreement from May 2019.

The JCPOA Joint Commission, attended by the US delegation indirectly, began to meet offline on April 6 in Vienna to continue previous discussions over a possible return of the US to the deal and how to ensure the full implementation of the pact.

Agencies - Xinhua

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