Sunday, March 3, 2024

US says Iran’s nuclear talks at ‘urgent’ point

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program have reached an "urgent" point. The top diplomat added it would be necessary to take a different course with Iran if no progress is made.

“There is real urgency and it’s really now a matter of weeks, where we determine whether or not we can return to mutual compliance with the agreement,” Blinken told a joint news conference with his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock on Thursday.

Baerbock also stated that “urgent progress” is needed at talks aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal, after a meeting with Blinken.

“The window for finding a solution is closing,” she told reporters in Berlin, adding, “The negotiations are in a decisive phase. We need urgent, urgent progress, otherwise we will not be successful in reaching a joint accord.”

Iran has rejected Western officials’ remarks about a deadline for reaching an agreement and stressed the country is only after a good agreement. Tehran says the Iranian negotiators in Vienna talks on removal of US sanctions will continue their presence in the Austrian capital as long as needed and will not pay attention to the deadlines set by the other sides.
Iran and the five remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — Germany, Britain, France, Russia and China — began the talks in the Austrian capital in April with the aim of removing the sanctions after the US voiced its willingness to return to the agreement.

During the seventh round of the Vienna talks, the first under President Ebrahim Raeisi, Iran presented two draft texts which address, separately, the removal of US sanctions and Iran’s return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA. Tehran also said it was preparing a third draft text on the verification of the sanctions removal.

The eighth round of talks kicked off in Vienna in late December. The negotiations seek to restore the JCPOA in its original form and bring the US back into the agreement.

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 landmark agreement in May 2018. Tehran has also demanded credible guarantees that Washington will not abandon the deal again.

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