Iran

Would the 4th round of Vienna talks be last negotiations?

IRNA – Approaching presidential election in Iran and countdown for an end of a deadline for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) temporary inspections of Iranian nuclear sites have prompted negotiators to speed up talks in Vienna, Austria, while the question is that whether the fourth round of the Joint Commission meetings of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) would be the last round of talks.

The fourth round of nuclear negotiations resumed Friday noon and representatives of the P4+1 group (Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) and Iran started working on technical and expertise issues as well as preparing a draft for potential agreement. In the current meetings, three working groups are negotiating to resolve existing issues, including Iran’s JCPOA commitments, the lift of sanctions and the US’s return to the deal, as well as executive arrangements.

The third day of the fourth round is beginning on Sunday and all sides enjoy motivation to strike a deal in the shortest time possible.

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian lead negotiator, said in a televised interview at the end of the first day of the fourth round on Friday that a positive atmosphere is dominant in the fourth round of talks and that as a result of the mutual understanding, Iran will help finalize the negotiations.

It is obvious that the United States’ high-ranking officials are also optimistic that the JCPOA will be revived. US President Joe Biden has underlined that Iran is serious about talks but it’s unclear how serious.

Despite the optimism towards the negotiations, there are still some problems. American news website Axios reported that restricting Iran’s nuclear program and returning it to the scale that it was in 2015 is a serious obstacle in the way of concluding the Vienna talks.

The main problem was that what kind of sanctions should be lifted by the US. The negotiators have had good progress in this regard, but talks on Iran’s return to its commitments under the JCPOA have not advanced.

However, observers believe that the upcoming presidential election in Iran on June 18, 2021 plays a key role in speeding up and making more serious the nuclear talks, because it is not obvious who will be the next president in Iran. The second issue is that Iran allowed the IAEA to continue inspections of its nuclear facilities for more three months, which will come to an end within two weeks.

As a result of concern about the deadline, the signatories to the JCPOA showed determination to put aside differences and reach an agreement.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, has said it seems that the diplomatic delegations have agreed to stay in Vienna to reach an agreement.

Experts predict that the two sensible issues (Iran’s presidential election and deadline for IAEA inspections) may help the negotiators strike a deal in the fourth round of Vienna talks.

Source
IRNA
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