Iran Says Nuclear Talks To Resume In Vienna 'Soon'
By RFE/RL September 21, 2021
New Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi wants talks with world powers to revive the landmark 2015 nuclear deal to lead to the removal of all U.S. sanctions.
"The Islamic Republic considers useful talks whose ultimate outcome is the lifting of all oppressive sanctions," Raisi told the UN General Assembly in a prerecorded speech on September 21.
Iran held six rounds of talks this year with world powers in Vienna aimed at reviving the nuclear accord, which was abandoned by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018. The negotiations were suspended in June when the hard-line Raisi was elected.
Earlier, President Joe Biden told the UN General Assembly that the United States will return to the nuclear deal "in full" if Tehran does the same and will "engage Iran diplomatically."
Trump reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to gradually breach its commitments under the accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
The talks in Vienna, being mediated by European parties to the deal, have been hung up on the technical details of Iran's compliance with its nuclear commitments and the timing and extent of U.S. sanctions relief.
The United States, China, Russia, Germany, France, Britain, and Iran are the original parties to the JCPOA.
Earlier on September 21, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Vienna talks "will resume soon and over the next few weeks," adding that "every meeting requires prior coordination and the preparation of an agenda."
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who is leading talks on behalf of European powers, said on September 20 that he will meet with his new Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, on the sidelines of the UN this week.
"After the elections, the new presidency asked for the delay in order to fully take stock of the negotiations and understand better everything about this very sensitive file," Borrell said. "The summer has already passed by and we expect that the talks can be resuming soon in Vienna."
With reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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