Iran and USA confident after new nuclear talks

In 2018 Donald Trump announced the nuclear deal with Iran, Joe Biden now wants to revive it. Initial talks are positive – even if the US was not at the table.

Positive signals in the talks about a revival of the international nuclear agreement with Iran: After statements from the USA that the sanctions will be lifted, Tehran has welcomed this position as “realistic and promising”. For its part, the US described the first meeting on Tuesday as “constructive”.

Representatives of the remaining signatory states to the international nuclear agreement began the talks on Tuesday afternoon in Vienna. Diplomats from the USA were included in the deliberations in separate discussions; they did not sit at the same table with the representatives from Tehran. The EU acted as a mediator between both parties.

“We see this as a constructive and certainly welcome step,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price to journalists on Tuesday. The US is about “finding out what the Iranians are willing to do to return to complying with the strict restrictions of the 2015 agreement and what we may have to do as a result to return to compliance ourselves.”

USA want to lift sanctions

Earlier, US President Joe Biden’s Iran representative, Robert Malley, had told PBS that it was clear to the US government that in order to return to the nuclear deal it would have to “lift sanctions that contradict the agreement”.

Iran welcomed this US announcement. This could be the “beginning of a correction of the bad process that has led diplomacy to a dead end,” said government spokesman Ali Rabiei in Tehran.

The Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov announced on Tuesday evening that the first talks had been “successful”. Nevertheless, the negotiations would take time: “It will take some time. How long? Nobody knows,” wrote Ulyanov in the short message service Twitter.

EU: “the beginning of a complex process”

“We are at the beginning of a complex process and it is too early to anticipate a result,” said Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, in Brussels. “Anything that is irreversible, such as the research activities that Tehran has undertaken in recent months, is problematic,” she added, referring to uranium enrichment among other things.

Arms Control Association’s Kelsey Davenport urged both sides to take “a bold first step” to get the process off the ground and show political will. Washington could, for example, “open up access to foreign financial transactions and facilitate humanitarian aid,” said the expert. In return, Tehran could adjust the controversial uranium enrichment to 20 percent.

In 2018, under President Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions against Iran. Trump’s successor Joe Biden has agreed to new negotiations with Tehran. Iran is making the lifting of US punitive measures a prerequisite for the country’s full compliance with the agreement.

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