Iran nuclear deal talks to resume next week

Joanna Estrada
April 11, 2021

Rouhani's conflicting messages came as the country observed National Nuclear Technology Day, during which he was seen on state television ordering the injection of uranium gas into almost 200 centrifuges and tests on other devices at the underground Natanz nuclear plant.

A delegation from Washington flew to Vienna early this week, as Iran held formal meetings with signatories to the nuclear accord - Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany.

"If Iran sticks to the position every sanction that has been imposed in 2017 has to be lifted or there will be no deal, then we're heading towards an impasse", he said.

"The United States team put forward a very serious, very serious ideas, demonstrated a seriousness of objective coming back into compliance if Iran comes back into compliance", they said Friday. "We are only at the beginning of intensive negotiations".

The Vienna talks, which involved the European intermediaries, were paused on Friday and are slated to resume next week after consultations at home.

Still, he expressed Washington's openness to lift non-nuclear sanctions.

This official reiterated that the United States is prepared to lift sanctions that are "inconsistent" with the 2015 deal and with the benefits that Iran expects from the deal if Iran returns to compliance - a position they acknowledged is likely to face strong opposition from some in Congress. "On the whole the discussions were productive, they were business-like, the atmosphere was very constructive". "I'd say we saw some signs of it, but certainly not enough", the official said.

"Depending on the announcements it also could be a sign of whether they are approaching these talks in a constructive spirit, and taking, taking on board the fact that the USA has shown a real seriousness of objective, or whether they're going to take a different track which would raise more questions about their intention", the official said.

The United States says it is prepared to lift "sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA".

Iranian officials say the United States must lift all of its sanctions first to reimplement the deal because it is the party that left the agreement first, a position reiterated by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday.

The two nations laid out tough stances as indirect talks in Vienna on how to bring both back into full compliance with the agreement wound up for the week, with some delegates citing progress.

The U.S. official rejected that demand, saying the Biden administration sees at least some of Trump's sanctions as "legitimate". While it has declined to elaborate, that appears to exclude sanctions formally unrelated to nuclear issues covered by the deal. If Iran insists that all sanctions be removed in order to reach a deal it will lead to an impasse, the official added.

A Chinese representative told NHK the talks are moving in the right direction, and that all parties have been narrowing their differences.

The 2015 deal placed strict limits on Iran's uranium stockpile.

Biden argues that the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated under former president Barack Obama had been successful, with United Nations inspectors saying Iran was meeting its promises to scale back nuclear work dramatically.

"The main bulk of the relief will have to go to the population, otherwise there will be unrest".

The US, he said, has made it clear publicly to the Iranians indirectly that it is America's view is that all sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA and inconsistent with the benefits that Iran expects from the JCPOA.

In a Tuesday appearance on a TV program about the Vienna talks, Alavi said that if the US maintains sanctions on Iran's financial sector and Tehran remains blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force - a global financial watchdog - the practical impact of sanctions relief will be "minimal".

On Friday, the vice ministers of the deal's members agreed to continue the talks. "They continue to target via proxies Americans in the region and our partners and allies", Bowman said. "I see no evidence of a strategic decision by Tehran to change course and live at peace with its neighbors".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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