The permanent Russian representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, met with Enrique Mora, the European Union coordinator for the Vienna nuclear negotiations, with the aim of discussing ways to accelerate the negotiations aimed at reviving the Iranian nuclear agreement, while sources close to the negotiations said that this week will be decisive in determining its fate.
The Russian delegate Ulyanov said that progress has been made in the Vienna negotiations, but the desired solution will require additional time and effort, and added that he met with the European Union coordinator in the negotiations “with the aim of conducting an in-depth discussion on possible ways to speed up negotiations on returning to the nuclear agreement and lifting sanctions.”
The Russian official stated in a tweet on his Twitter account that he met the head of the Iranian negotiating delegation, Ali Bagheri, and that they exchanged views and assessments on a number of what he called the contentious issues that must be settled to ensure a return to the nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions.
Ulyanov also held another meeting with the US special envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, adding that the Russian-American bilateral dialogue is led by the unity of the goal of reviving the agreement and it is very pragmatic, and stressed that this practice deserves to be extended to other common areas.
In a related context, sources close to the Vienna negotiations said that the parties to the nuclear agreement held a new meeting with the United States without the presence of Iran, which refuses to sit at the same table with Washington.
The sources added that the meeting’s agenda focused on the controversial points, which still prevent achieving a breakthrough that allows talking about the success of the negotiations.
The same sources said that the negotiations have entered a critical juncture, and that this week will determine the course and future of these negotiations.
More than a week ago, negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement resumed in their eighth round, overshadowed by Iran’s assertion that its presence on the table is limited to only discussing the nuclear file, and that it rejects any time limit that defines the negotiation process within its framework.
Yesterday, Monday, Iran had stated that it was negotiating realistically in Vienna and was not optimistic or pessimistic about the progress of the negotiating process, and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzad added – in a press conference – that what is happening in Vienna is “the result of efforts by all parties present to reach a reliable agreement.” and stable.”
The four files
The same spokesman explained that good progress has been made in the four files being discussed, which are “lifting the sanctions, the nuclear issue, verifying the lifting of sanctions, and obtaining guarantees of non-withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.”
The spokesman added that “other issues remain important for discussion on nuclear, but we have achieved results on several points, and we will advance further if the other parties have the will,” stressing that Tehran is negotiating “realistically, not optimistically or pessimistically about the negotiation process.”
Iran is engaged in talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement on its nuclear program, with the parties still affiliated with it (France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany). The United States, which unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, is indirectly participating in the talks.
The Vienna negotiations began last April, and after being suspended for nearly 5 months due to the Iranian presidential elections starting in June 2021, the negotiations resumed in late November.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that good progress has been made in the four files being discussed in Vienna, which are “lifting sanctions, the nuclear issue, verifying the lifting of sanctions, and obtaining guarantees of non-withdrawal from the nuclear agreement.”
During the talks, Tehran stresses the priority of lifting the sanctions that Washington re-imposed on it after its withdrawal from the agreement, and obtaining guarantees that the US withdrawal will not be repeated.
On the other hand, the United States and the European parties focus on the importance of Iran’s return to fully respecting its commitments under the agreement, which it began to renege on in 2019, in response to Washington’s withdrawal.
On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told a committee in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) – yesterday, Monday – that Tel Aviv is not a party to the Iranian nuclear agreement and is not bound by it, and “will not be bound by the outcome of the nuclear talks with Iran, and will continue to maintain freedom of expression.” Act fully against Iran anywhere, anytime without restrictions.”
Bennett added, “Iran sends us its opponents and their weapons, we are facing them day and night.”