On Tuesday, Iran and some other world powers arranged a meeting to debate and also revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia gathered in a group called the Joint Commission, chaired by the European Union. They have been trying to solve Iran and US conflict since April 9.
It is said that The United States and Iran moved closer to settling of their dispute over the nuclear deal, which was left high and dry by the previous US president, Donald Trump in 2018. Washington labeled negotiations as “constructive” and Iran signaled that it was willing to debate the particulars of how the two sides would salvage the broken 2015 agreement.
The United States National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, announced that “the talks in Vienna have been constructive in the sense that there is real effort underway there.” He also added that world powers were focused on restoring the agreement on a “compliance for compliance” basis.
Ned Price, the US State Department spokesman said “we do see this as a constructive and certainly welcome step.” “It is a potentially useful step as we seek to determine what it is that the Iranians are prepared to do to return to compliance with the stringent limitations under the 2015 deal and, as a result, what we might need to do to return to compliance ourselves,” he added.
On the other hand, Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s lead negotiator expressed his satisfaction by saying “the talks in Vienna were constructive … our next meeting will be on Friday,”
“We continue to reject any agreement concerning the release of $1bn of Iranian money [frozen in South Korea] in exchange for stopping 20 percent uranium enrichment,” he said in response to US offer at the beginning of meeting.
Russia’s delegate Mihkail Ulyanov also said on Twitter that the meeting was “successful”.
“The restoration of JCPOA will not happen immediately. It will take some time. How long? Nobody knows,” he said. “The most important thing after today’s meeting of the Joint Commission is that practical work towards achieving this goal has started.”
Last week, the talks were almost disrupted when Iran’s main uranium enrichment plant was heavily damaged in an attack that Iran. As the result, Iran greatly raised its uranium enrichment rate, going from 20% to 60%, putting it further than ever to obtaining weapons-grade fissile material. President Joe Biden slammed the move, but promised to keep talking.
Iran demands US to lift hundreds of restrictions on its economy that Trump put since taking office in 2017, including those he restored after he pulled out of the nuclear agreement. Iran wants all of the sanctions to be lifted, according to Araghchi.
Tehran maintains that the US must take these steps before Iran will agree to limit its nuclear activities to the provisions of the nuclear agreement. The sanctions will be lifted until the US has clarity and trust that the Islamic Republic will reduce its nuclear operation, and halt atomic production.
The nuclear agreement, which set tight limitations on Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, was a high-water mark for Obama’s presidency. Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement strained ties between the long-time adversaries, causing assassinations, assaults on oil facilities, and tanker seizures in the Persian Gulf.
The Financial Times announced on Sunday that senior Saudi and Iranian officials have been holding talks to mend ties, which seems to be another indication of easing tensions. Three unnamed officials were quoted in the newspaper. The meeting in Baghdad on April 9 covered recent attacks and will be accompanied by another round of talks next week, according to the statement.