Vienna meeting signals new push to revive Iran nuclear deal – POLITICO


The parties to the Iran nuclear deal will meet in Vienna on Tuesday as efforts are revving up to bring the United States back into the agreement.

U.S. officials will also be in Vienna for consultations but so far are not expected to be part of the larger meeting.

Officials announced the in-person gathering in the Austrian capital after a videoconference on Friday led by the EU, which is the administrator of the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“In line with the joint ministerial statement of 21 December participants recognised the prospect of a full return of the U.S. to the JCPOA, and underlined their readiness to positively address this in a joint effort,” the European External Action Service (EEAS) said in a statement. “Participants also emphasised their commitment to preserve the JCPOA and discussed modalities to ensure the return to its full and effective implementation.”

The statement continued: “Participants agreed to resume this session of the Joint Commission in Vienna next week, in order to clearly identify sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation measures, including through convening meetings of the relevant expert groups. In this context, the coordinator will also intensify separate contacts in Vienna with all JCPOA participants and the United States.”

Iranian media reported that Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi had confirmed Tehran’s participation in Tuesday’s meeting in Vienna.

Russia’s ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted that Friday’s session went well and the parties were prepared to talk further.

While U.S. officials will be present in Vienna, Iran as yet seems unwilling to engage directly with Washington. The Iranians have called for the U.S. to lift economic sanctions, which were reimposed by former President Donald Trump after he unilaterally quit the nuclear deal in May 2018.

Tehran has said that it would resume its own compliance with the JCPOA once the lifting of sanctions has been verified. The U.S. in turn has demanded that Iran return to full compliance with its obligations under the deal.

Friday’s meeting was chaired by the EEAS deputy secretary-general, Enrique Mora. China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K. signed the original agreement with Iran and the U.S.

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