NEGOTIATIONS ON IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM WILL CONTINUE IN VIENNA

Posted 17 December, 2021

A meeting of the Joint Commission on the Iranian Nuclear Treaty will take place in Vienna on Friday, Al Arabiya television reported.

 

"We have made significant progress this week. "We are convening a meeting of the Joint Commission today and we will resume negotiations after a pause of a few days," Ali Bagheri, Iran's chief negotiator, and deputy foreign minister, wrote on Twitter.

 

He said he had met with the coordinator of the Joint Commission, Enrique Mora, the European Union's envoy, and other negotiators on Thursday evening to discuss the next steps.

 

From April to June, Iran and the world's major powers held six rounds of talks in Vienna to find ways to maintain a nuclear deal.

 

Under a treaty signed in 2015 called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran has committed itself to severely restricting its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some of its economic sanctions.

 

But the treaty hung in the head when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from it unilaterally in 2018 and Washington returned sanctions to the Shiite republic.

 

In response, Tehran has gradually ceased to fulfill some of its obligations under the JCPOA.

 

In recent months, Iran has increased uranium enrichment to unprecedented levels and restricted the activities of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is tasked with monitoring the Shiite Republic's nuclear facilities.

 

Negotiations resumed on 29 November after a five-month hiatus but were already adjourned on 3 December without any concrete progress.

 

Iran says it wants to develop only civilian nuclear capabilities, but Western states note that the Shiite republic's reserves of enriched uranium are much larger than needed for such purposes and could be used to build a nuclear arsenal.

 

U.S. President Joe Biden said he was ready to return to compliance with the agreement, and Iranian officials said they were serious about negotiating.

 

Still, Western powers have blamed Tehran for turning away from the progress made earlier this year and trying to win time.

 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Tehran on Tuesday that Washington and its allies were working on "alternatives" in the event of a failure to negotiate a nuclear deal.

 

According to him, "time is running out" and Iran is still not starting "real negotiations".

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