Iran to Return to JCPOA Talks by End of November

After months of stalled talks with world powers on its nuclear program JCPOA, Iran has agreed to return to the negotiating table in Vienna before the end of November, Iran’s deputy FM announced in a Twitter post on Wednesday, adding that the exact date would be announced next week.

Ali Bagheri Khani, who also serves as Iran’s chief negotiator in Vienna, has announced Tehran’s decision to start negotiations after meeting in Brussels with the JCPOA Joint Commission coordinator, EU’s political director Enrique Mora.

Bagheri praised the meeting with Mora as a “very serious and constructive dialogue” on the essential elements for the talks, dedicated to the full withdrawal of US sanctions and normalization of Tehran’s trade relations with the world.

He previously had talks with Mora on October 14, during which both sides agreed to continue their consultations in Brussels. Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian pointed that Tehran would evaluate the results of the Brussels talks before setting a date for resuming negotiations.

Vienna discussions on reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 deal on the Iranian nuclear program, stalled in June due to Iran’s presidential elections and continuing accusations from Tehran that western nations are failing to fulfill their commitments and demands for sanctions imposed against Iran to be lifted before it adheres to its end of the bargain.

Former president Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the deal in 2018 and imposed a new set of sanctions on Iran, which Tehran responded to by resuming the enrichment of uranium beyond levels permitted under the JCPOA.

Iran has repeatedly rejected accusations that Tehran was “boycotting” the talks and its demands and potential new conditions have been met with opposition by most parties to the deal with the US special representative for Iran, Robert Malley, warning that Washington has “other options” to deal with Iran’s nuclear advancement efforts.

However, Malley also stressed that the Biden administration still prefers diplomacy, expressing a strong interest in restoring the agreement and engaging in indirect talks with Tehran in Vienna.

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