The Jerusalem Post

Russia says parties need time before new nuclear talks


PARIS (Reuters) – Some parties to the Iran nuclear talks need more time before resuming negotiatio­ns in Vienna and a new round is unlikely before next week, Russia’s envoy said on Thursday.

Iran and the United States have been holding indirect talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers that imposed restrictio­ns on Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for lifting internatio­nal sanctions.

“The ViennaTalk­s on JCPOA (Joint Comprehens­ive Plan of Action) will resume as soon as all the participat­ing states are ready for what is supposed to be the final stage of negotiatio­ns,” Mikhail Ulyanov, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN atomic watchdog, said on Twitter.

“This isn’t the case in point yet. Some participan­ts need more time. Looks like we will meet in Vienna not earlier than next week.”

The Vienna talks, which began in April, are now in a pause that had been expected to last until early July. Diplomats from both sides have said major difference­s remain and want the other side to make greater concession­s before resuming.

“As the US exited the deal, we need to make sure it won’t happen again. This is one of Iran’s red lines. We never left the deal, therefore, it is Washington that should give us assurances that it will not happen again when the administra­tion changes,” a senior Iranian official said.

“We are not in a rush,” the official said, adding that a resumption next week depended on Washington.

“If they are ready to take tough political decision, then we can meet next week,” he said.

A Western diplomat said it was still possible that the talks would resume next week.

France’s ambassador to the United Nations Nicolas de Riviere, a former negotiator in the talks, on Wednesday threw the ball back in Iran’s court.

“After six negotiatio­n sessions, the parameters of this return to an agreement are clearly identified and the most difficult questions remain to be resolved,” he told the UN Security Council. “It is now crucial that the courageous trade-offs that are required are taken to conclude the negotiatio­ns and allow the swift return of all parties to the agreement.”

He said the process could not go on indefinite­ly as the parameters and benefits of a return to the 2015 accord would not be the same after a certain period of time.

Former US president Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the agreement in 2018, to which Tehran responded by starting to violate some of the nuclear limits in 2019 while sticking to its position that it had no nuclear weapons ambitions.

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