Iran nuclear deal talks to resume in Vienna from today

Nov 29, 2021: A diplomatic source said the long-awaited resumption of international talks in Vienna to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal would resume on Monday afternoon.

The European diplomat told AFP news agency on Sunday that talks between the rest of the agreement’s partners – Iran, China, Russia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom – would resume at about 2:00 pm local time (1300 GMT).

The United States will also send a delegation to Iran, led by Washington’s special envoy Rob Malley, to participate in the talks indirectly.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, said this week that “informal meetings” were expected between the participants before formal talks began at the Palais Coburg Hotel in the Austrian capital.

Ulyanov observed that Monday would mark more than five months since the talks were suspended, “a very protracted pause”.

In a tweet on Saturday, he wrote, “The talks can’t last forever. There is the obvious need to speed up the process,”

On Saturday, Iranian media reported that Ali Bagheri, the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, had arrived in Vienna a few days after visiting Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The 2015 agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons by imposing tougher sanctions on its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some sanctions. But it was abandoned in 2018 when then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the treaty.

A year later, Iran retaliated by withdrawing its nuclear commitments, particularly in violation of agreement reached on its enriched uranium stockpile.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden has said he wants the United States to return to the deal, but Washington has accused Iran of dragging its feet and making “radical” demands.

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