Russian optimism about reaching agreement with Iran in Vienna

Vienna: Talks to restore the nuclear agreement between Iran and six other states are going in the right direction, according to Russian negotiator Mikhail Ulyanov.

“Looks like we are making progress. Let’s keep our fingers crossed,” the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna wrote on Twitter on Sunday after a meeting with EU chief negotiator Enrique Mora, without giving further details, dpa news agency reported.

However, there were still no signs of a breakthrough at the weekend after negotiations resumed in Vienna on Thursday following a five-month break.

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Ulyanov made it clear that Moscow “fully” supports the current draft agreement.

In the present round of negotiations, diplomats from the US, Iran and the five other parties to the agreement – China, Germany, France, the UK and Russia – are trying to resolve final issues on a deal to lift US sanctions and reinstate restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The parties are trying to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a deal agreed in 2015 to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons.

The sanctions were imposed by the US following its unilateral withdrawal in 2018 from the nuclear deal during the presidency of Donald Trump. Tehran has repeatedly insisted that the nuclear deal is of no value to the country without the lifting of sanctions.

On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian reiterated his opposition to investigations conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) aimed at clarifying secret nuclear activities in the past.

“We will continue to cooperate with the IAEA, but it should distance itself from political deviations and carry out its work within a technical framework,” Amirabdollahian said in a phone call with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The minister stressed that Iran doesn’t want to build nuclear weapons.

(Except for the headline, the story has not been edited by Siasat staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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