Thursday, August 18, 2022

Top EU official: Progress made in nuclear talks

A senior EU official has stated progress was made during the recent talks between Iran and the other parties to the nuclear deal in Austria’s Vienna, aimed at salvaging the 2015 agreement.

Negotiators were meeting in the Austrian capital for the first time since March, when negotiations, which began in 2021 to reintegrate the United States into the agreement, stalled.

The senior official stated the progress included guarantees that the United States would not scupper the deal by going back on its word in the future.

It was unclear how this would be possible, and a number of Republican presidential hopefuls have already pledged to once again withdraw Washington from the agreement if elected in 2024.

“We have now quite substantial guarantees,” the EU official insisted, adding, “It’s my understanding that Iran is happy and feels satisfied with what is in the text.”

A demand by Iran that the United States remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the State Department’s official blacklist of “foreign terrorist organizations” has been dropped from the discussions, the official claimed. It will instead be handled “in the future” — after the deal.

A source in Iran’s negotiating team had rejected a claim by the Wall Street Journal that Tehran is no longer sticking with the demand for the US to delist the IRGC as part of the negotiations on a potential restoration of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Tehran and Washington still have to agree on “issues related to sanctions lifting and a couple of nuclear questions that did not exist in March as the Iranians advanced their program,” the official said.

“We are a bit exhausted, I cannot imagine myself here in four weeks,” the EU source continued, adding that “this is not another round, we are here to finalize the text.”

“I think there is a real possibility, but it’s not going to be easy,” the official noted.

Several rounds of inconclusive talks have been held in Vienna since last April, with the last round held in the Qatari capital of Doha last month with a different format.

Tehran and Washington have been blaming each other for the impasse.
Iran says reaching a lasting and good deal is within reach if the US stops its excessive demands and acts logically.

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