7th round of Iran nuke talks underway in Vienna

Vienna: Talks aimed at reaching common ground on the Iranian nuclear situation held in Vienna are underway and this is the seventh round of negotiations on the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) currently being negotiated by EU officials and China, France, Germany, Russia, the US and Iran.

The goal of the JCPOA is to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement, which the US withdrew from in 2018 under the administration of former President Donald Trump, unilaterally re-imposing sanctions on Iran, reports Xinhua news agency.

Tehran has retaliated by gradually stopping implementing elements of the deal since May 2019.

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Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora, who chaired Thursday’s talks, told reporters later that all parties are “very committed” to “bringing the JCPOA back to life”.

A working group on nuclear issues will continue on Friday.

Discussions were difficult due to the parties’ different positions, Mora said, but: “We are not starting from scratch. We are starting from very solid work, done over a number of weeks by all the delegations.” He emphasized the need to be “extremely realistic about what we can get.”

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, said on Twitter that Thursday’s meeting was “rather short and constructive”.

Parties were in agreement over the need to finalize the talks swiftly, he added.

The seventh round of talks started on November 29, lasting for five days, during which Iran submitted draft proposals for a restored 2015 nuclear agreement.

However, senior diplomats from the UK, France and Germany on December 3 voiced “disappointment and concern after thoroughly and carefully analysing Iranian proposed changes to the text negotiated during the previous six rounds”.

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