iran: EU, Russia and Iran upbeat as nuclear deal talks resume – Times of India


VIENNA: EU, Iranian and Russian diplomats sounded upbeat as Iran and world powers held their first talks in five months on Monday to try to save their 2015 nuclear deal, despite Tehran taking a tough stance in public that Western powers said would not work.
Diplomats say time is running out to resurrect the pact, which then-US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, angering Iran and dismaying the other powers involved — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. European Union, Iranian and Russian delegates to the talks offered an optimistic assessment after the new round began with a session of the remaining parties to the deal, without the US — whom Iran refuses to meet face-to-face.
“I feel extremely positive about what I have seen today,” Enrique Mora, the EU official chairing the talks, said after the meeting — the seventh round of talks aimed at reviving a deal under which Iran limited its disputed uranium enrichment programme in return for relief from US, EU and UN economic sanctions.
Mora said the new Iranian delegation had stuck to its demand that all sanctions be lifted. But he also suggested Tehran had not rejected outright the results of the previous six rounds of talks held between April and June. “They have accepted that the work done over the first six rounds is a good basis to build our work ahead,” he said. “We will be of course incorporating the new political sensibilities of the new Iranian administration.”
The meeting in Vienna ended a long hiatus triggered by the election in June of Ebrahim Raisi, an anti-Western hardliner. The talks are effectively indirect negotiations between Tehran and Washington, with other officials shuttling between them. Tehran’s negotiating team has set out demands that US and European diplomats consider unrealistic, Western diplomats say.
Iran has adopted an uncompromising position by demanding the removal of all US and EU curbs imposed since 2017, including those unrelated to its nuclear programme, in a verifiable process.
The Islamic Republic’s top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani also said the US and its Western allies should offer guarantees that no new curbs would be imposed in the future. “It is a major achievement that all parties accepted Iran’s demand that first the situation of illegal and unjust US curbs… should be cleared and then (we) discuss other issues and decide on those issues,” he told reporters.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded by saying the US wanted Iran to fully comply with the 2015 nuclear deal. There was no comment from the other powers on Kani’s remarks about the sequencing of topics.


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