Iran’s nuclear negotiations resume in Vienna amid new issues

Berlin — On Tuesday, world powers focused on returning the United States to a nuclear deal with Iran in its first session since comments from Iran’s foreign minister, who claimed that Russia once tried to plunder Iran, surfaced. An agreement set to resume high-level talks in Vienna.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has so far refused to comment on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javadzarif’s remarks made in a seven-hour interview with a think tank related to the Iranian president who leaked over the weekend.

Russia’s top representative at the Vienna summit, Mikhail Urianov, was apparently the most optimistic about the possibility of Tehran and Washington agreeing on the terms for the United States to rejoin the 2015 agreement, although At the summit, he simply tweeted, “Participants will continue to negotiate the restoration of the nuclear deal.”

Ulyanov has joined the representatives of China, Germany, France and the United Kingdom (the other party to the transaction known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)) for a meeting chaired by the European Union.

“Participants will continue to discuss how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA, given the possibility of the United States returning to the JCPOA,” the EU delegation said before the meeting.

The United States is not standing at the table as the United States unilaterally withdrew from the agreement under then-President Donald Trump in 2018. .. However, President Joe Biden wants to rejoin the deal, with a US delegation participating in indirect negotiations with Iran in Vienna, with diplomats from other world powers acting as intermediaries. I will.

The agreement promises Iran’s economic incentives in exchange for curbing nuclear program. The re-enforcement of US sanctions has upset the country’s economy, and Tehran has violated trade restrictions, including purifying its enriched uranium and its stockpiles in a previously unsuccessful effort. Reacted by steadily increasing pressure to provide relief to other countries.

The ultimate goal of the agreement is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, claiming that it does not want to do it. Iran currently has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb, but far from the amount before the nuclear deal was signed.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Jabad Zarif will speak at a press conference in Tehran, Iran, on August 5, 2019. (Ebrahim Noroozi / AP Photo)

Comments from Zarif, who helped negotiate the first nuclear deal in 2015, now focus on how the United States revokes sanctions, which sanctions it revokes, and how Iran returns to compliance. It can complicate the negotiations in Vienna that are hitting.

In an interview reviewed by the Associated Press, Zarif said he wanted to stop the nuclear deal before Russia was attacked under the Obama administration in 2015, suggesting that Moscow would want Iran to confront the West. ..

Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls the recording leak “illegal,” but does not challenge its credibility.

The Vienna talks began in early April, with a group of experts proposing ways to resolve US sanctions and Iran’s compliance issues and returning to the US.

Comments from Zarif are the latest complications that diplomats have to deal with.

In particular, a suspected attack by Israel recently struck Iran’s Natanz nuclear site, causing an unknown amount of damage.

Tehran has retaliated by initiating a small amount of uranium enrichment to the highest level of purity ever, 60%.

David Rising