Mora: Time for Decisions to Conclude Vienna Talks

All parties involved in the negotiations have said an agreement is close, but there are still some significant differences to overcome
Mora: Time for Decisions to Conclude Vienna Talks
Mora: Time for Decisions to Conclude Vienna Talks

Political decisions need to be taken within days to end the Vienna talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after 11 months of negotiations, EU coordinator Enrique Mora said on Monday.
After intensive talks between Tehran and world powers in Vienna, all parties involved in the negotiations have said an agreement is close, but there are still some significant differences to overcome between Washington and Tehran.
“Just to clarify. There are no longer ‘expert level talks.’ Nor ‘formal meetings’. It is time, in the next few days, for political decisions to end the #ViennaTalks. The rest is noise,” Mora said in a tweet, Reuters reported.
In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters the United States and its allies are “getting closer” to a nuclear deal with Iran but “important components” still need to be decided.  
Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani late on Monday returned to Tehran for consultations.  
European negotiators from France, Britain and Germany had already temporarily left the talks as they believe they have gone as far as they can and it is now up to the two main protagonists to agree, western diplomats told Reuters.
Oil prices hit their highest since 2008 on Monday amid market supply fears as the United States and European allies considered banning Russian oil imports and prospects for a swift return of Iranian crude to global markets receded.
Under the 2015 accord struck by the Islamic Republic and six major powers, Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from US, European Union and UN sanctions.
All parties involved in the talks, which also include China, say progress has been made toward restoring the pact to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The 2015 deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, had fallen apart in 2018 when then president Donald Trump pulled out the United States.



New Initiatives 

Diplomats have told Reuters that several key issues still need to be resolved in the talks, including the extent to which sanctions on Iran would be rolled back.
Iran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, called on Washington on Monday to make political decisions.
“Priority of Iranian negotiators is to resolve remaining issues that are considered [a] ... red line. Rapid access to a strong deal requires new initiatives from all parties,” Shamkhani tweeted.
The talks were further complicated over the weekend when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow wanted a guarantee from the United States that its trade, investment and military-technical cooperation with Iran would not be hindered by sanctions imposed since it launched a military operation against Ukraine.
Western officials say there is a common interest in promoting nuclear non-proliferation and are trying to ascertain if what Russia is demanding regards only its commitments to the Iran deal. That would be manageable, but anything beyond that would be problematic, they say.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran would not allow “any foreign factor to undermine its national interests.” 
France on Monday urged Russia not to resort to what it called “blackmail” over efforts to revive the deal.
A European diplomat asserted that “the Russians are really trying it on and the Iranians aren’t happy, although of course not saying too much publicly. We’re trying to find a way through.”

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