A fifth round of talks to resurrect the 2015 Iran nuclear deal has concluded in Vienna, with the delegations representing the original signatories sounding a positive note as they break to consult with their governments.
For weeks, diplomats in the Austrian capital have been thrashing out plans for Iran and the US to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with major progress reported earlier by those at the negotiating table.
Under the JCPOA, Iran had agreed to strict curbs on its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief from western nations concerned Tehran was trying to develop nukes – a claim it denies.
However, then-US President Donald Trump withdrew America from the landmark accord in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to start breaching its JCPOA commitments, including the amount and purity of uranium it is allowed to produce.
On Wednesday, the EU’s Deputy Political Chief Enrique Mora, who is coordinating the indirect US-Iranian talks, said a deal is in reach that would see both nations return to their obligations under the agreement.
“As coordinator, I had wished that this was the final round [of talks]. That was not the case, but we will continue working and I’m sure that the next round will be the one in which we will finally get a deal,” he told reporters.
He added that the final text of the agreement is “not finalized” but said he was “sure” there would be an agreement in the sixth round of talks.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s representative at the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a statement that the remaining issues “require political decisions.”
“Therefore the Joint Commission decided to make a break and resume talks at the end of next week,” he added.
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