Representatives from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany – convened another meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Saturday with the purpose of ensuring the United States’ return to the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the lifting of Washington’s sanctions against Tehran.
The participants reviewed the outcomes of the talks held between the sides in recent days and received relevant reports prepared by expert groups. They also agreed to hold another session of the JCPOA Joint Commission in the future if necessary.
Expert groups of both sides have held technical talks in parallel with the negotiations.
Speaking at the end of the talks, Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the participants reviewed the reports presented by the working groups and held “good discussions” about ways to lift sanctions.
“It seems that a new understanding is emerging and there is now common ground among all [the sides] on the final goal,” Araqchi, who serves as Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, added.
He, however, said that the path ahead is “not an easy one.”
He emphasized that differences have not been settled yet, saying, “There are some serious disagreements that need to be resolved during next negotiations.”
“As I have repeatedly announced, Iran is not interested in protracted and lengthy negotiations and the talks will be continued to an extent which is necessary,” the senior Iranian diplomat said.
He noted that the sides can now start working on preparing a “joint text” on sectors on which they share views.
Araqchi said the Iranian delegation has presented its own text both in the fields of nuclear measures and sanctions removal to all the P4+1 countries
“We believe that the draft texts we have presented can act as a basis for negotiations and a final agreement,” he said, adding that the texts can meet the demands of Iran and those of the opposite side about Tehran’s return to its commitments as per the JCPOA.
The EU said in a statement earlier on Saturday before the meeting that participants were expected to “take stock of the ongoing discussions on the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA by all sides.”
The Joint Commission was chaired on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell by the Deputy Secretary General/Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora.
Meanwhile, Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, said in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday that the participants are satisfied with the progress made so far during days of the JCPOA Joint Commission meetings.
The meeting of the Joint Commission of #JCPOA is over. The participants took note with satisfaction of the progress made so far and expressed determination to continue negotiations with a view to complete the process successfully as soon as possible.— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) April 17, 2021
“The meeting of the Joint Commission of #JCPOA is over. The participants took note with satisfaction of the progress made so far and expressed determination to continue negotiations with a view to complete the process successfully as soon as possible,” the senior Russian diplomat added.
In another tweet, Ulyanov said the JCPOA Joint Commission instructed expert-level working groups on lifting US sanctions against Iran and nuclear issues to “continue their activities on Saturday afternoon, Sunday and next week” to prevent the waste of time and “to make further progress in the negotiations on #JCPOA restoration.”
Ulyanov also posted a picture of his meeting with Araqchi and Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations Kazem Gharibabadi after the JCPOA Joint Commission meeting and said they “exchanged views on the way ahead.”
After Joint Commission meeting of #JCPOA exchanged views on the way ahead with Iranian counterparts- Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi and Ambassador Kazem @Gharibabadi pic.twitter.com/moZApANp2z— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) April 17, 2021
Earlier in the day, China’s envoy to the negotiations said they will continue and all remaining parts to the accord had agreed to accelerate work on issues, including which sanctions the United States would lift.
Araqchi said on Thursday that Tehran does not seek protracted negotiations on the fate of the JCPOA, warning that the country would take action if the talks are not constructive.https://if-cdn.com/GJZJRFK?v=1&app=1
“We are not after talks of attrition and the negotiations that are only time-consuming and aimed at [holding] talks for the sake of talks,” he said.