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Iran, P4+1 hold fresh round of Vienna talks focused on removing sanctions imposed on Tehran


This handout photo taken and released on December 27, 2021 by the EU delegation in Vienna shows representatives of Iran and the P4+1 group of countries attending a meeting of the JCPOA Joint commission in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by AFP)

Iran and the five remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal have held a new round of talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna focused on the removal of all sanctions imposed on Tehran after Washingtonís unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.

Representatives of Iran and the P4+1 group of countries began the eighth round of the Vienna talks on Monday after the previous round, the first under Iranís new President Ebrahim Raeisi, ended 10 days ago.

Asked whether he is optimistic about the result of talks, Iranís chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, who also serves as deputy foreign minister for political affairs, said, "If we were not [optimistic about the result] we would not have come to Vienna."

According to Iranís official IRNA news agency, during the meeting, Bagheri Kani stressed the need for the removal of sanctions, noting that Iran should be provided with "objective and sufficient" guarantees by the opposites sides followed by verification of sanctions removal.

Explaining on the progress made in the previous round of talks, Iranís negotiator declared complete readiness of the Iranian delegation for serious interaction with other delegations to help the talks advance.

EU official: We are talking about weeks not months to reach agreement

Following the meeting, European Unionís deputy foreign policy chief and head of the JCPOA Joint Commission, Enrique Mora told reporters in a presser that it is possible for the parties to Vienna talks to reach an agreement in a matter of "weeks not months."

"If we work hard in the days and weeks ahead we should have a positive result," Mora adding, however, that "I will not speculate on target dates to reach agreement."

The EU official went on to say that the parties to the Vienna talks were "working on sanctions-lifting and on Iranís nuclear commitments in parallel."

Mora said the negotiations will not continue during the concluding days of the year, but will start next week.

"Facilities for talks will not be available for three days at the end of the year but we will be back on Monday," he said.

Russia: New talks in Vienna "businesslike" and "result-oriented"

Meanwhile, Russiaís ambassador to international organizations in Vienna said in a tweet after the meeting that the new round of talks in the Austrian capital were businesslike in which participants held "result-oriented discussions."

"At the meeting of the Joint Commission today the 8th round of the #ViennaTalks was declared open. The participants held businesslike and result-oriented discussions."

He added that a special point about the new talks was that the participants "agreed to intensify the drafting process in order to achieve an agreement ASAP."

Speaking to reporters shortly before the meeting, Chinaís top envoy Wang Qun said, "Today all parties have agreed to come back to activate the eighth round of negotiations even in (the) Christmas and New Yearís holiday. This in itself fully shows a greater sense of urgency on the part of all parties concerned."

Earlier in the day, Iranian, Russian and Chinese delegates taking part in the Vienna talks met in the Austrian capital.

Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in the Austrian capital, who also heads his countryís delegation in the Vienna talks, said in a tweet that the meeting was aimed at comparing notes before the official start of the eighth round of the talks between Iran and the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was abandoned by the US three years after its conclusion.

Iranís Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also said earlier on Monday that the issues of guarantees and verification of sanctions removal are the main points of the new discussions.

"Today, we have a common and acceptable draft document that we call Dec. 1 and Dec. 15 draft, which covers both the nuclear issue and sanctions. That is, we have set the June 2021 draft aside and have come up with a new and common draft, and starting as of today, negotiations will focus on that draft," Iranís top diplomat said.

Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA -- Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China -- resumed talks in Vienna on November 29 after a five-month hiatus, marking the first round of negotiations under President Ebrahim Raeisiís administration and the seventh overall.

Iran and the P4+1 group of countries sat down for talks in the Austrian capital on December 9 after being paused on December 3, when the participants returned to their capitals for additional consultations on the two draft proposals that Tehran had put forward.

During the 7th round, the new Iranian administration presented two separate proposals on the removal of US sanctions and Iranís return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA.

 

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/25300


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