Talks to save Iran N-deal make a good start

Vienna: Iran, Russia and the United States reacted positively to the opening exchanges in a first day of talks in Vienna aimed at rescuing an international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

US President Joe Biden has said he is ready to reverse the decision of his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw from the landmark 2015 agreement, negotiated to ensure that Iran never developed a military nuclear program.

And after Moscow gave a positive assessment of the opening of the talks, Washington’s reaction a little later was also upbeat. Iran too, described the opening talks as constructive.

“I can say that overall, the meeting was constructive,” the head of the Iranian delegation, Abbas Araghchi, said in a video on Iranian broadcaster Irinn.

The United States was not present at those discussions because Iran has refused to meet the US delegation so long as its sanctions against Tehran remain in place. The European Union is acting as an intermediary.

Since Trump pulled the US out of the deal with Iran in 2018, re-imposing sanctions on Tehran, the remaining parties have been struggling to save the agreement, as Iran has gradually stepped up its nuclear activities.

Tehran is demanding an end to the crippling sanctions Trump imposed — before which Iran will not meet the US delegates.

Talks between the delegates from the remaining members of the 2015 agreement will continue at the luxury hotel in Vienna, a diplomat familiar with the discussions said.

The US delegation is due to meet in a different high-end hotel, also in downtown Vienna, with EU negotiators acting as go-betweens.

Iran confirmed in January it was enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, well beyond the threshold set by the deal. (Hindustan Times)

Image courtesy of (brandeis.edu)

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