Iran’s negotiators set to leave for Vienna to resume nuclear talks

Marathon talks to salvage 2015 Iran nuclear deal have been underway since last year.

Iran’s negotiators set to leave for Vienna to resume nuclear talks

Iran said its negotiating team led by Deputy Foreign Minister and lead negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani is set to leave for Vienna on Wednesday to resume nuclear deal talks.

In a statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said the fresh round of talks would be held “within the framework of the policy of lifting cruel sanctions” against Iran.

Expected to resume on Thursday, the new round of talks to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, with the coordination of the European Union, will see discussion of new ideas and proposals presented by the parties, including Iran, the spokesman noted.

He added that Iran is “determined” to reach an agreement that “guarantees the rights” of Iranians while calling on other parties to “seriously focus on solving the remaining issues.”

Shortly before the statement was released, the EU deputy foreign policy chief and the coordinator of Vienna talks Enrique Mora took to Twitter to announce his trip to Vienna.

“On my way to Vienna to discuss JCPOA back to full implementation on the basis of the coordinator's text tabled on 20 July,” he wrote. “Extremely grateful to Austrian authorities.”

The negotiations between Iran and world powers have been underway in the Austrian capital since last year, with a series of interruptions caused by key disagreements between Tehran and Washington.

Last month, the talks moved to Doha in a different format - indirect negotiations between Iran and the US mediated by the EU. The first round, however, failed to produce any substantial result.

The talks in Doha were followed by US President Joe Biden’s maiden trip to the Middle East, where he signed two anti-Iran resolutions, which drew sharp reactions from Tehran and inflamed tensions again.

In a bid to break the deadlock, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell last week said he proposed a new draft text to Iran and the US to revitalize the accord.

In response, Bagheri on Sunday said Tehran has responded to Borrell's new proposal while calling for a swift conclusion of the talks.

"We shared our proposed ideas, both on substance and form, to pave the way for a swift conclusion of Vienna negotiations," Bagheri said in a Twitter post.

While details about the EU proposal and Iran’s response are still now known, a senior Iranian lawmaker said on Wednesday that the EU text was in line with Iran's demands in many ways.

Javad Karimi Ghoddusi said given the current status, the conclusion of talks could be imminent.

The former US administration unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018, followed by the reinstatement of sanctions.

In response, Iran initiated a series of measures to scale back its commitments under the deal, including ramping up its nuclear enrichment activities up to 60 percent purity.

On Monday, Iran began the process of feeding gas into cascades of new centrifuges, which Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said was in response to new US sanctions.

The new sanctions, announced on Monday, targeted Chinese and other companies from the UAE and Singapore that the US said were used by one of Iran’s leading petrochemical brokers.

Hüseyin Demir