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Progress noted in diplomatic talks on nuclear deal with Iran

US President Joe Biden wants to return to the agreement, however, and a US delegation in Vienna was participating in indirect negotiations with Iran, with diplomats from other world powers acting as intermediaries.

High-ranking diplomats from China, Germany, France, Russia and Britain advanced in Saturday’s talks focused on bringing the United States back to its historic nuclear deal with Iran, but said they needed more work and time to reach a future agreement.

After the meeting, Russia’s chief representative, Mikhail Ulyanov, tweeted that members of the Joint Global Action Plan, or JCPOA, “today noted the indisputable progress made in Vienna’s negotiations on the restoration of the nuclear deal.”

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“The Joint Commission will meet again at the end of next week,” wrote Ulyanov. “In the meantime, experts will continue to outline the elements of the future agreement.”

The US did not have a representative at the table when diplomats met in Vienna because former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the country from the agreement in 2018. Trump also restored and increased sanctions to try to force Iran to renegotiate the pact with more concessions. .

US President Joe Biden wants to return to the agreement, however, and a US delegation in Vienna was participating in indirect negotiations with Iran, with diplomats from other world powers acting as intermediaries.

The Biden government is considering a reversal of some of the tougher Trump-era sanctions in an attempt to get Iran back into compliance with the nuclear deal, according to information from current and former U.S. officials and others familiar with the matter.

Before the main negotiations, Ulyanov said that JCPOA members met alongside officials from the US delegation, but that the Iranian delegation was not ready to meet with US diplomats.

The nuclear deal promised Iran economic incentives in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program. The re-imposition of US sanctions has left the Islamic Republic’s economy in a somersault. Tehran has responded by steadily increasing its violations of the agreement’s restrictions, such as increasing the purity of the enriching uranium and its stocks, in an unsuccessful effort so far to pressure other countries to provide relief from sanctions.

The ultimate goal of the agreement is to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, something he insists it does not want to do. Iran now has enough enriched uranium to make a bomb, but nowhere near the amount it had before the nuclear deal was signed.

The negotiations in Vienna started in early April and included several rounds of high-level discussions. Groups of experts have also been working to resolve the problems surrounding US sanctions and Iran’s compliance, as well as the “possible sequencing” of the US’s return.

Outside the Vienna negotiations, other challenges remain.

An attack suspected of being carried out by Israel recently hit the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz, causing unknown damage. Tehran retaliated by starting to enrich a small amount of uranium with up to 60% purity, its highest level ever.

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