The Vienna talks, which involve Iran as well as Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia directly, and the United States indirectly, resumed in late November with the aim of restoring the landmark deal. Western diplomats say they are now in the final phase of the talks and believe that a deal is within reach.
Stating that “substantial progress has been made in the last week,” a State Department spokesperson told AFP that “if Iran shows seriousness, we can and should reach an understanding on mutual return to full implementation of the JCPOA within days,” using an acronym for the nuclear deal.
But “anything much beyond that would put the possibility of return to the deal at grave risk,” the spokesperson added.
Iran insists that the talks must lead to the removal of all American sanctions that were imposed against Tehran following Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement in May 2018. Tehran has also demanded credible guarantees that Washington will not abandon the deal again.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator has recently stated the involved sides are now closer than ever to an agreement.
“After weeks of intensive talks, we are closer than ever to an agreement; nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, though. Our negotiating partners need to be realistic, avoid intransigence, and heed lessons of past 4yrs. Time for their serious decisions,” Ali Bagheri Kani said in a tweet.
His tweet comes amid speculations and reports over the past days that the Vienna talks are headed toward an agreement with a report claiming 98 percent of the outstanding matters have already been resolved.