Iran and the United States said today, April 2, that they will enter into indirect talks in Vienna starting next Tuesday, April 6, as part of broader discussions to reopen the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Reuters reports.
The Islamic Republic has ruled out bilateral talks with the United States “face to face”, but the simultaneous presence of representatives of Tehran and Washington in the Austrian capital, which the American side has already called a “healthy step forward”, will help focus efforts on achieving a result that suits everyone, the British news agency notes. …
“The goal is to reach an agreement within two months,” said the European Union, which acted as a mediator between Iran and the United States.
This term is associated with the fact that presidential elections will be held in Iran in the second half of June.
Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed unprecedented sanctions on Iran, prompting him to violate key restrictions set in 2015 by the multilateral Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The current owner of the White House, Joe Biden, who signed the JCPOA during his tenure as vice president of the United States, seeks to renew Washington’s participation in the agreement, but the Americans and Iranians cannot yet agree on who should take the first step. The United States is demanding Iran’s full return to compliance with all the terms of the deal, while Tehran is seeking the initial lifting of sanctions imposed on it after Washington left the JCPOA.
“Iran and the US will be in the same city, but not in the same room,” a European diplomatic source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Another Western diplomat clarified that a shuttle diplomacy approach would be applied.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the talks would be structured around working groups that the EU is going to form with the current JCPOA members, including Iran.
“We do not expect an immediate breakthrough as there are difficult discussions ahead of us. But we believe that this is a healthy step forward, ”the State Department stressed, adding that Washington remains open to direct negotiations with Tehran.
An EU spokesman said negotiations would focus on lists of sanctions that the United States could lift from Iran and nuclear obligations that Tehran must fulfill.
“In the end, we are approaching this in parallel. I think we can do it in less than two months, ”the official suggested.
The coordinator of the Commission on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, the 2015 multilateral agreement on Iran’s nuclear program), the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, will intensify contacts with all parties to the nuclear deal and the United States. As reported by EADaily, it was said in the statement of the EU Foreign Service, which was distributed today, on April 2, following the meeting of the political directors of the said commission, which took place via videoconference.