TEHRAN (Iran News) – Diplomats from Iran and other parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal held a meeting on Sunday noon to conclude the sixth round of talks that have been underway since April to revive the nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi, who leads the Iranian negotiating team in Vienna, issued a statement about the holding of the meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission. He said at the end of the sixth round of Vienna talks, a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission chaired by Enrique Mora, EU Deputy High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, was held.
During the meeting, the heads of delegations, while expressing satisfaction with the continuous and intensive efforts of the expert teams, jointly evaluated the results of the current round of talks.
Araqchi, while referring to the progress made in this round of negotiations, especially regarding the draft of negotiation texts, said that the remaining important issues require serious decisions in the capitals, especially in the negotiating countries. He called on the negotiating parties to make the necessary decisions with realism, seriousness and strong will to maintain and revive the JCPOA.
While stating that we are closer to an agreement than ever before, the deputy foreign minister expressed hope that an agreement could be reached in the next round of talks, although it could not be guaranteed.
The heads of the other delegations, while confirming the progress made, stressed the need for the participation of all parties with a constructive approach in creating the ground for reaching an agreement.
In remarks to Iran’s state TV ahead of the JCPOA Joint Commission, Araqchi said all texts of the agreement are almost ready and that all parties involved in the talks need to make decisions.
He said, “Today is the last day of the sixth round of talks, and we have gone through very difficult days. We are now in a situation where we think almost all the agreement documents are ready. The main issues of contention that remain, some issues have been resolved and some issues still remain, but it has taken a very precise form and it is quite clear what the dimensions of these disputes are.”
“I think the time has come for our negotiating parties to decide, because the scene of negotiations and a possible agreement is quite clear. They have to make their own decisions. It is now clear what areas [are solvable], what is possible and what is not possible. So, it’s time for all parties, especially those facing us, to make their final decision.
So, for a few days, which I cannot say exactly how many days it is, we will stop the talks and return to the capitals. Not just for further consultation, but for decision making,” he continued.
The top Iranian nuclear negotiator added, “My colleagues had very difficult days and worked on the documents until late at night. Last night, they worked until 2 in the morning on the last sheet of documents and the last answers that had to be given. Anyway, you know that indirect negotiation is not an easy task and to avoid misunderstandings, it is necessary to work much more carefully and with more details and prepare the material.”
Araqchi noted, “Every round we negotiated, we made progress, some rounds of less progress and some rounds of more. I think we have made good progress this round and, as I said before, we are now closer to an agreement than ever before, but the gap between us and the agreement now is not easy to fill and requires decisions that need to be made by the other side. I hope that in the next round, we will go through this short distance, although it is hard work and we will be able to reach a final conclusion.”
He concluded, “This is my hope for the next round, but it is certainly not possible to predict whether we will be able to do it in the next round or not, but I am very hopeful.”