Times Standard (Eureka)

World powers seek to bring US back into Iran nuclear deal

- By David Rising and Alex Schuller

VIENNA >> Officials from five world powers began a new effort Tuesday to try to bring the United States back into the foundering 2015 nuclear deal they signed with Iran, a delicate diplomatic dance that needs to balance the concerns and interests of both Washington and Tehran.

The meeting in Vienna of envoys from Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran came as the U.S. was due to start its own indirect talks with Iran. It would be one of the first signs of tangible progress in efforts to return both nations to the accord, which restricted Iran’s nuclear program in return for relief from U.S. and internatio­nal sanctions.

Following the closed meetings of the signatorie­s to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehens­ive Plan of Action, Russia’s delegate, Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted that the initial talks were “successful.”

“The restoratio­n of JCPOA will not happen immediatel­y. It will take some time. How long? Nobody knows,” he wrote. “The most important thing after today’s meeting of the Joint Commission is that practical work towards achieving this goal has started.”

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. unilateral­ly out of the accord, opting for what he called a maximum-pressure campaign involving restored and additional American sanctions.

Since then, Iran has been steadily violating restrictio­ns in the deal, like the amount of enriched uranium that it can stockpile and the purity to which it can be enriched. Tehran’s moves have been calculated to pressure the other nations in the deal to do more to offset crippling U.S. sanctions reimposed under Trump.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who was vice president under Barack Obama when the original deal was negotiated, has said he wants to bring the U.S. back into the JCPOA but that Iran must reverse its violations.

Iran argues that the U.S. violated the deal first with its withdrawal, so Washington has to take the first step by lifting sanctions.

Following the meeting in Vienna, Iranian state television quoted Iran’s negotiator, Abbas Araghchi, as reiteratin­g that message during the opening round of talks.

“Lifting U.S. sanctions is the first and the most necessary action for reviving the deal,” Araghchi was quoted as saying. “Iran is fully ready to reverse its activities and return to complete implementa­tion of the deal immediatel­y after it is verified sanctions are lifted.”

 ?? ISNA — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE ?? This file photo shows the heavy water nuclear facility near Arak, Iran. Efforts to bring the United States back into the 2015deal on Iran’s nuclear program are to step up a gear as Iran and the five world powers remaining in the accord meet in Vienna Tuesday while the U.S. is due to start indirect talks with Tehran.
ISNA — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE This file photo shows the heavy water nuclear facility near Arak, Iran. Efforts to bring the United States back into the 2015deal on Iran’s nuclear program are to step up a gear as Iran and the five world powers remaining in the accord meet in Vienna Tuesday while the U.S. is due to start indirect talks with Tehran.
 ?? FLORIAN SCHROETTER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Abbas Araghchi, right, arrives at the Grand Hotel Wien in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday. The hotel is the site of closed-door nuclear talks with Iran.
FLORIAN SCHROETTER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Abbas Araghchi, right, arrives at the Grand Hotel Wien in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday. The hotel is the site of closed-door nuclear talks with Iran.

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