Vienna Talks ‘Proceeding Well’ But Sticking Points Remain

Germany says the perspective in JCPOA talks is positive and the discussions are intensive, and it is not possible today to anticipate and say whether there will be success
Vienna Talks ‘Proceeding Well’ But Sticking Points Remain
Vienna Talks ‘Proceeding Well’ But Sticking Points Remain

Ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, between Iran and six major powers are “proceeding well”, but “important issues” remain yet to be resolved, a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry said. 
“Overall, on the situation in Vienna, one can say that the talks are going well but that many important areas also raise questions that need to be clarified and that there are important questions,” Maria Adebahr said at a routine weekly government press briefing in Berlin, Anadolu Agency reported.
She added that both sides had to take their respective steps when it came to nuclear activities and the lifting of sanctions in order to revive the Iran nuclear deal.
Adebahr stressed that there are “very, very intensive discussions” going on in Vienna focusing on “decisive and important sticking points.”
“Overall the perspective is positive, but there is still no success to report, and the discussions are still intense. From this perspective, it is not possible today to anticipate and say whether there will be success,” Adebahr said.
The German official made clear that it was too early to predict the outcome of the negotiations in the Austrian capital but her country wants a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
“It is no secret that we wish—and this has been going on for months—a return to the JCPOA as soon as possible and a re-compliance with this agreement,” she said.
The JCPOA refers to the 2015 nuclear agreement sealed in Vienna between the five world powers (the US, UK, Russia, China and France) plus Germany and Iran.
The six countries are continuing to discuss ways in Vienna geared at reviving the deal, which then-US president Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The American delegation is not participating in the meeting with the other world powers, as Iran refuses to directly negotiate with the US until sanctions imposed during the Trump era are lifted.
Under the accord, Tehran pledged to limit its nuclear activity in return, western powers agreed to drop their economic sanctions on Iran.
But in 2018, under Trump, the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement as part of his so-called “maximum pressure” policy and reimposed tough sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to stop fully complying with the agreement.



Legitimate Concerns 

A Chinese envoy also said that Iran’s legitimate concerns should be properly addressed in the ongoing negotiations to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Xinhua reported.
Wang Qun, Chinese envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, made the remarks after the latest meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, chaired by European Union official Enrique Mora and attended by representatives from China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran.
Important progress has been made in the ongoing negotiations, but there are some key differences on issues related to the lifting of sanctions, Wang said.
The fact that the primary issue of sanction removal has not been settled in talks that have dragged on for more than two months shows that the issue of right and wrong has not yet been fundamentally resolved, he said.
It is the United States that unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA and exerted “maximum pressure” on Iran, which is the root cause of the Iranian nuclear crisis, the Chinese diplomat said.
For the United States and Iran to resume full compliance with the JCPOA, illegal US sanctions against Iran should be “fully, cleanly and completely” lifted in the first place, including “long-arm jurisdiction” against third-party entities and individuals, Wang noted.
All other sanction measures imposed by the United States during the withdrawal period that are inconsistent with the JCPOA and relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council should also be completely lifted, he said.
At the same time, practical measures should be taken to prevent the relevant parties from arbitrarily withdrawing from the JCPOA again, Wang said. He added that China also supports the proper settlement of Iran’s legitimate concerns in other areas.
“It is time to make a political decision on this,” Wang noted.
The envoy stressed that China has always upheld an impartial position on the Iran nuclear issue and is willing to keep working with all parties involved to push forward the negotiations. He added that China will also continue safeguarding its own legitimate rights and interests in the lifting of sanctions and other aspects.

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