Araqchi in Vienna for New Round of JCPOA Talks

Araqchi in Vienna for New Round of JCPOA Talks
Araqchi in Vienna for New Round of JCPOA Talks

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi arrived in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday to start a sixth round of talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 
Negotiations started in early April to discuss a possible return of the United States to the agreement that it quit three years ago under its former president Donald Trump.
It also aims to lay out the steps Iran needs to take to resume full compliance, as it has scaled down its JCPOA commitments in response to Washington’s reimposition of tough sanctions. 
Delegations resumed their talks after a nearly two-week pause when they held consultations in their capitals. 
Saturday’s Joint Commission was chaired by Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora and attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran.
The US delegation was also present in a nearby hotel as usual to hold informal meetings with the JCPOA parties. 
The talks have made good progress, according to participants, but a few key issues remain unsolved. 
Araqchi had earlier noted that that the differences do not involve any new issues. 
“Disputes are over main subjects concerning the method of both sides’ return to the agreement,” he told ICANA.
He also hoped discussions would see more progress, but stressed it is too early to say if it could be the final round of talks. 
Iran demands a full and effective removal of American sanctions before it reversed its nuclear steps, while the US urges Iran to resume compliance first. 
On Thursday, the US said it had removed sanctions on three former Iranian officials and two companies that previously traded Iranian petrochemicals, a step seen as a sign of its readiness to ease its bans. 
Iran, however, refused to accept it as a gesture of goodwill, especially as the US introduced new sanctions on the same day on a network that allegedly funded regional movements.  
“Selective US delistings are neither related to JCPOA talks nor viewed as signals of goodwill—especially when coupled with renewed economic terrorism,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter.
He also reiterated Iran’s call on Washington to “effectively & verifiably” remove all the sanctions.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Saturday urged all sides to show flexibility and pragmatism in the talks about the Iranian nuclear deal.
“It is about flexibility and pragmatism from all participating parties,” he told Reuters.
“Playing for time is in no one’s interest,” he added.

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