Delegations from Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have come together in Vienna for another round of negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
The deal was to prevent Iran from making its own nuclear weapon. But since the US withdrew unilaterally in 2018, Iran has been sticking less and less to the agreement under the treaty, such as lowering uranium stock.
The Russian delegation speaks of a “fairly successful start” of the negotiations, which will take place in Palais Coburg, the luxury hotel where the Iran agreement was signed in 2015.
The European Union, which presides over the talks, too, and Iran has announced that it is optimistic about the negotiations.
It is the first time since June that the delegations have come together. In that month, Conservative President Raisi came to power in Iran. He is a hardliner known for his fierce anti-Western rhetoric.
The new negotiations are mainly about the sanctions imposed by then-President Trump since the US withdrawal. Those criminal measures, aimed at the oil trade, inter alia, are intended to prevent countries and businesses from trading with the Islamic Republic.
No way back
Prior to the new round of negotiations, Iran demanded that all 1,500 sanctions imposed under Trump be lifted. Otherwise, there is “no way back” to the Iran agreement, the Iranian Foreign Minister said in a statement. The US must also promise it will never step out of the treaty again and that no more penalties will be imposed on Iran.
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The minister added that it will not always be a matter of course for Iran to participate in the talks. But the US doesnt feel much to make promises like that. President Biden also wants to continue sanctions with regard to human rights and terrorism in any case.
Commuting between hotels
For the time being, discussions between the US and Iran are indirect, as with the previous rounds of negotiations that took place between April and June 2021.
Washington did send a delegation to Vienna, but it is not around the table with Iran and the other participants. Iran refuses that. The other countries are therefore commuting between Palais Coburg and another hotel nearby, where the Americans are staying.
The delegations will continue to talk tomorrow.