Thursday, May 26, 2022

US says nuclear talks nearing conclusion

Negotiations in Vienna to revive the Iran nuclear deal are nearing their conclusion, a spokesman for the US State Department has suggested, raising hopes the landmark agreement may soon be restored.

“Our assessment is that we are in the midst of the very final stages of, as I said before, a complex negotiation with the key stakeholders here,” State Department Spokesperson said Wednesday. 

He added, “This is really the decisive period during which we’ll be able to determine whether a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is in the offing or if it’s not.” 

“Again, we are sincere and steadfast in our efforts to test the proposition as to whether a return can be achieved. We continue to believe that a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA is the best way to, once again, place permanent, verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program. But we’re in a decisive period because that window will very shortly have closed,” Price noted. 

Tehran has pushed back on the need to establish a fixed deadline for the nuclear negotiations to conclude. Iranian officials have rejected western diplomats’ remarks about a deadline for reaching an agreement in Vienna talks, and stressed Tehran is only after a good agreement. 

On Wednesday, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, stated that the parties in the Austrian capital are “closer than ever” to reaching a deal. 

Kani wrote on Twitter, “After weeks of intensive talks, we are closer than ever to an agreement; nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, though.” 

The Iranian diplomat also called on his negotiating counterparts in Vienna to avoid “intransigence” and learn from the past four years since former US President Donald Trump nixed the deal. 

“Time for their serious decisions,” he wrote. 

Intensive diplomatic talks continue in the Austrian capital of Vienna between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries to discuss all possible ways to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal by removing all sanctions imposed by Washington against Tehran. 

Western diplomats say they are now in the final phase of the talks and believe that a deal is within reach.

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