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Talks Aimed At Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal To Resume in Vienna On December 27

By RFE/RL December 24, 2021

Talks with Iran aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal will resume in Vienna on December 27, European Union coordinator Enrique Mora said.

"Vienna talks to resume on Monday 27 December. The JCPOA Joint Commission will meet to discuss and define the way ahead," Mora wrote on Twitter on December 23, referring to the formal name of the pact -- the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"Important to pick up the pace on key outstanding issues and move forward, working closely with the US. Welcome to the 8th round," he added.

The United States has participated indirectly in the ongoing talks.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord in 2018 and reimposed tough economic sanctions. Tehran reacted by gradually ramping up its nuclear program and enriching uranium well beyond the thresholds allowed in the agreement.

President Joe Biden has signaled that he will rejoin the deal if Iran returns to full compliance. The JCPOA limited Iran's nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

"Participants will continue the discussions on the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the [deal] and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides," an EU statement said.

Diplomats from the three European countries involved said after the talks adjourned last week that negotiators in Vienna were "rapidly reaching the end of the road." They have expressed frustration with Tehran's new demands in recent weeks but pointed to "some technical progress" so far.

Russian delegate to the talks Mikhail Ulyanov said on Twitter that "usually it isn't popular to engage in serious business" between Christmas and the new year.

But he said that "in this particular case this is an indication that all negotiators don't want to [waste] time, and aim at speediest restoration" of the nuclear deal.

U.S. national-security adviser Jake Sullivan said earlier this week that current diplomatic efforts aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran may be exhausted within "weeks."

U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned of a "period of escalating crisis" if diplomacy failed to restore the agreement.

Iranian officials claim the country's nuclear program is purely for civilian use.

With reporting by AP and dpa

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/iran-nuclear- talks-resume-december-27/31624139.html

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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