MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Vienna talks on nuclear deal end well, say European officials / Vienna Grand Hotel Meeting

RUDAW  7 April 2021 Holly Johnston  – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The first round of talks in Vienna on the Iran nuclear agreement have ended well with concrete steps to revive “full implementation of the deal”, European officials said on Tuesday.

“Constructive Joint Commission meeting. There’s unity and ambition for a joint diplomatic process with two expert groups on nuclear implementation and sanctions lifting,” said Enrique Mora, the European Union chief of the joint commission talks. Mora said he will “intensify” meetings with all parties, including the US, in the Austrian capital.

Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov said the meeting was “successful”,

with expert groups tasked to “identify concrete measures to be taken by Washington and Tehran to restore full implementation of JCPOA,” referring to the deal’s formal name the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“The groups started to work immediately,” he wrote on Twitter. However, he conceded that a restoration of the original agreement will take time.

The talks in Vienna followed virtual discussions on the deal last week.

Talks will resume in Vienna on Friday, Iran’s delegation head Abbas Araghchi told state media.

The United States on Monday said that Washington will not make “concessions” to convince Iran to abide by the 2015 nuclear agreement, but that it is ready to discuss lifting some sanctions if Tehran returns to full compliance with the deal

“The United States will not make unilateral gestures or concessions to get Iran – to induce Iran to a better place,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference.

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the JCPOA in 2018. Washington’s withdrawal from the deal, which was designed to curb Iran’s nuclear activity in return for sanctions relief, saw Iran take repeated steps to violate the agreement, including enriching uranium up to 20 percent at its centrifuges.

Tehran said the US must lift all sanctions before it will return to compliance with the deal.

“The path is clear. The US sanctions must be fully lifted, it must be verified, and after that Iran takes its step,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a Monday press conference, according to state media.