Talks on lifting anti-Iran sanctions underway in Vienna
Iran and the other participants in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have been holding talks in Vienna since April last year with the aim of reviving the agreement by bringing the United States into full compliance.
The United States left the JCPOA in May 2018 under former President Donald Trump. The Vienna talks began on Trump’s successor Joe Biden’s promise to join the deal and repeal the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran. Biden, however, has so far failed to undo Trump’s own loss of Barack Obama’s Iran policy, which led to the JCPOA in June 2015.
On Sunday, the 29th day of the eighth round of the Iran and P4+1 talks in Vienna, Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Baqeri and Enrique Mora, European Union deputy foreign policy chief and head of the JCPOA Joint Committee, held a meeting. Later in the day, the senior Iranian diplomat met with delegates from the P4+1 group of countries.
The eighth round of the Vienna talks began on Dec. 27 with a focus on lifting all sanctions the United States had imposed on Iran following its unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA. The United States is not allowed to directly attend the talks due to its 2018 withdrawal from the Iran deal.
During the new round of talks, Iran has rejected the idea of setting deadlines for reaching an agreement, with its representatives noting that they prefer to reach a logical agreement within a logical time frame. Iran has also made its agreement to a new deal conditional on the realization of the rights and interests of the Iranian nation, Press TV reported.
As a result, Iran’s negotiating team has repeatedly said that reaching an interim agreement is out of the question as Tehran seeks a lasting, reliable and final agreement on the lifting of sanctions imposed on the country.
The Islamic Republic has also dismissed the pessimistic assessment of the talks by the United States and the European trio – namely France, Britain and Germany – as a psychological ploy to win concessions.
While the Iranian side entered the new round of talks with clear positions and well-defined principles, the Western side, on the contrary, turned out to be riddled with many divisions and differences between them. The differences exist not only between the remaining members of the JCPOA and the United States, but even within the American team, which followed the talks without being part of it.