TEHRAN (Iran News) –Time for U.S. to Lift Sanctions. Iran’s top negotiator at the Vienna talks says it is time for the U.S. to lift sanctions against Iran and return to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Abbas Araqchi said the negotiating teams present in the talks have not yet decided on some key issues.
“Talks on reviving the JCPOA will continue after the May 21 deadline,” he said, referring to the date when an agreement between Iran and the IAEA expires.
“The Iranian delegation is leaving Vienna hoping that it can resume work next week,” said the senior negotiator.
He further expressed hope that the discussions will produce the desired outcome.
He said that while “a framework or structure” of an agreement has been reached, differences still remain on “some key issues.”
“We cannot yet say that the work has finished, but very good progress has been made, and we are hopeful that next week, when the talks resume, all delegations will have made the necessary decisions [in their capitals] to reach an agreement,” Araqchi said.
He further underlined that Iran will, later on, decide on the possibility of continuing its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Meanwhile, at the end of Thursday meeting, the Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted, “The 4th round of the Vienna talks is over. The #JCPOA participants at their meeting today noted that “good”or “significant” progress was made and that an agreement is “within reach”. The Joint Commission will resume its work early next week. Hopefully the 5th round will be final.”
Meanwhile the U.N. nuclear watchdog is still in talks with Iran on how to proceed with a three-month monitoring deal that expired on Friday, it said on Thursday, adding that it will provide an update within days.
The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran announced in February that although Tehran would reduce cooperation with the IAEA including by ending snap inspections, they had struck a deal on continuing “necessary” IAEA monitoring and verification activities in Iran.
The arrangement is important to keeping indirect talks between Iran and the United States on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal on track. Senior diplomats from France, Britain and Germany warned on Wednesday that finding a solution is critical.
“(IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and Vice-President of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, on 21 February agreed on a temporary bilateral technical understanding (for up to 3 months) that remains in effect,” the IAEA said in a statement.
“The Agency and Iran are currently in consultations regarding the implementation of the existing understanding. The Director General will provide an update to the (IAEA) Board of Governors in the coming days,” it added.
The IAEA has described a black-box-type system in which data is collected without the IAEA being able to access it immediately. Diplomats say it includes real-time monitoring of Iran’s uranium-enrichment levels and that the equipment might simply keep running for a time in the absence of an extension.