Next round of Vienna nuke deal talks could be conclusive: Iran's top negotiator

 The next round of talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal could be conclusive and lead to an agreement, the head of Iran's negotiating team Abbas Araqchi said early Thursday.

"Today, after almost 10 days of intensive work, we have reached a point where all the delegations felt they should once again make further consultations in their capitals," Araqchi was quoted by official news agency IRNA as saying.

There is still some distance from the point where an agreement can be concluded, but "we are not far apart," he noted.

The negotiators of Iran and the P4+1, namely Britain, China, France, Russia plus Germany, will therefore take "a week at most" to make consultations in their capitals, according to Araqchi.

"A lot of discussions" were held regarding the "main disputed issues" in the last round of talks, and different solutions were discussed which now must be analysed to choose the best, the Iranian negotiator said.

Iran has not changed its official position and an arrangement must be agreed by "the two sides" over how the United States returns to the Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and fulfill its commitments, he added.

After the latest meeting on Wednesday, Wang Qun, Chinese envoy to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna, said progress has been made but there are some key differences on issues related to the lifting of sanctions.

Iran's legitimate concerns should be properly addressed, Wang noted.

The U.S. government under former President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and unilaterally re-imposed sanctions on Iran.

In response, Iran gradually stopped implementing parts of its JCPOA commitments from May 2019. The new U.S. government under Joe Biden has promised to return to the deal and ease sanctions against Iran.

The JCPOA Joint Commission began to meet offline on April 6 in Austria's capital Vienna to continue the discussion about a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA.


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