Iran’s nuclear deal talks are set to resume

Shkoi Kurdistan-

Iran’s nuclear deal talks are set to resume in Vienna on November 29, Iran’s deputy foreign minister announced on Wednesday, following a phone call with a top European Union official. The US welcomed the announcement, saying an understanding could be reached in a short period of time.

“We agreed to start the negotiations aiming at removal of unlawful & inhumane sanctions on 29 November in Vienna,” Ali Bagheri said in a tweet on Wednesday, noting the arrangement was made during a phone call with the EU Deputy Secretary General Enrique Mora.

The US Department of State soon welcomed the announcement.

“We do welcome the EU’s announcement that they have coordinated with all participants and that talks on a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) will resume for a seventh round on Monday, November 29,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said during a press briefing shortly after the announcement.

“We have said this many times before, but we believe it remains possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA by closing the relatively small number of issues that remained outstanding at the end of June when the sixth round concluded,” he added. “If the Iranians are serious, we can manage to do that in relatively short order.”

However, Price noted that the opportunity will not stand for long if Iran continues its current nuclear activities.

“This window of opportunity will not be open forever especially if Iran continues to take provocative nuclear steps,” Price said.

US Special Envoy to Iran Robert Malley is set to lead the US participation in the talks.

The announcement comes hours after the head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council expressed a lack of hope in the results of the negotiations.

“The U.S. President, lacking authority, is not ready to give guarantees. If the current status quo continues, the result of negotiations is clear,” Ali Shamkhani said earlier on Wednesday.

Under former US President Donald Trump’s administration, the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord and imposed a raft of sanctions in an effort to force Tehran to renegotiate a broader deal. The campaign failed as Iran expanded its nuclear program and is now enriching uranium at levels far beyond limits set in the accord.

Biden wants to return to the deal. But talks to bring the US back on board, lift sanctions, and get Iran back into full compliance with its nuclear commitments were suspended in June to allow for the transition of its new government.

France, Germany, UK, and the US on Saturday called on Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to return to negotiations in “good faith”, calling it the only means of avoiding a “dangerous escalation”. Iran welcomed the calls, but demanded tangible action be put into motion.

The announcement of negotiation resumption by Iran comes after Iran on Tuesday said it thwarted a United States act of “piracy” when it attempted to seize a tanker carrying Iranian oil exports in the Gulf of Oman. 

Last week, Tehran said the US was “not trustworthy” after Washington announced new sanctions on its drone program. The US said Iran and its proxies have used drones to attack US interests and international shipping.

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