JCPOA Draft Documents Go to Capitals for Decision-Making

Araqchi said the landscape of negotiations and a possible agreement are completely clear following the latest round of talks
JCPOA Draft Documents Go to Capitals for Decision-Making
JCPOA Draft Documents Go to Capitals for Decision-Making

Almost all draft documents related to the restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal are ready and the delegations will return to their capitals for “decision-making”, Iran’s top negotiator said.  
“The landscape of negotiations and a possible agreement are completely clear and they [the other sides] need to make their decisions,” Abbas Araqchi said on Sunday, ahead of the Joint Commission meeting.
He added that while some major areas difference have been resolved, some others still remain, but they have taken a completely precise shape with clearly defined dimensions.
“We will suspend the talks for a few days. Delegations will return to their capitals, not just for further consultations, but for making decisions,” he was quoted as saying by ISNA. 
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is formally called, lost shape when the United States pulled out in 2018 and Iran scaled down its commitments in reaction to the reimposed American sanctions. 
The current negotiations in Vienna, Austria, are aimed at finding ways to bring both sides back into full compliance. 
Representatives from the JCPOA parties and the US have held six rounds of talks so far, the latest of which concluded on Sunday with a formal gathering of the Joint Commission.
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Secretary General of European External Action Service Enrique Mora and attended by diplomats from France, Germany, Britain, Russia, China and Iran.  
Araqchi said Iran’s negotiating team spent days of intensive work and they are now closer than ever to a final agreement, although the remaining distance is “not easy to fill”. 
“It requires decisions that chiefly our other sides need to take,” he said, hoping that they can cover the small remaining distance in the next round of talks. 
He refused to say for certain that next round would be final, but said he is “extremely hopeful”.
The senior diplomat also noted that indirect talks are more difficult as it requires more careful and detailed work on the scripts to avoid misunderstandings. 
Russia’s representative Mikhail Ulyanov also said an agreement “is within reach but is not finalized yet.”
He had also earlier welcomed the idea of setting July 15 as a target date which is the sixth anniversary of the JCPOA. 



Need for Flexibility

Earlier on Friday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum.
They discussed the way forward and underlined their continued and full commitment to the ongoing negotiations in Vienna.
Borrell, as the coordinator of the JCPOA, welcomed the progress made over the last weeks of discussions, underlining the importance of seizing the political opportunity and the need for all to be flexible in order to reach a compromise that will be in the interest of all.
He also called for continued commitment by Iran to the JCPOA in view of the Iranian presidential elections on the same day. 
Iranians elected Ebrahim Raeisi as their president to replace the incumbent Hassan Rouhani who could not run again due to term restrictions. 

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