Talks to revive the JCPOA earlier this year failed to secure a breakthrough with Iran, which requested a pause after the June election of a new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi.

Tehran and six powers have been discussing hot to salvage the JCPOA after former US president Trump withdrew from the deal. (EU Delegation in Vienna / Reuters)

Talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal will resume on November 29 as Western concerns over Tehran’s nuclear advances grow.

“We agreed to start the negotiations aiming at removal of unlawful & inhumane sanctions on 29 November in Vienna,” Ali Bagheri Kani, political deputy of Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Wednesday.

EU envoy Enrique Mora, who led six rounds of talks earlier this year and recently flew to Tehran to seek progress, will again chair the November 29 meeting, the European Union announced.

“Participants will continue the discussions on the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides,” an EU statement said.

Earlier in the day, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council suggested negotiations to revive the deal would fail unless US President Joe Biden could guarantee that Washington would not again abandon the pact.

In Washington, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the United States hoped Tehran would return in good faith and ready to negotiate. Washington believed they should resume where they adjourned in June.

“We believe it remains possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA by closing the relatively small number of issues that remained outstanding at the end of June,” Price told a news briefing.

“We believe that if the Iranians are serious, we can manage to do that in relatively short order. (However)… this window of opportunity will not be open forever, especially if Iran continues to take provocative nuclear steps,” he added.

Sputtering negotiations

Named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the pact required Iran to take steps to restrict its nuclear program in return for relief from US, EU and UN economic sanctions.

Tehran and six powers began discussing ways to salvage the nuclear pact in April.

But the talks failed to secure a breakthrough with Iran, which requested a pause after the June election of a new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi.

The pact has been in tatters since 2018, when then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting Tehran to breach mandated limits on uranium enrichment the following year.

Negotiations have been on hold since the June election of hardline Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who is expected to take a tough approach when they resume in Vienna.

The six rounds of talks held so far have been indirect, with chiefly European diplomats shuttling between US and Iranian officials because Iran refuses direct contact with the United States.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *