Iran announces the resumption of nuclear talks in Wien

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Iran IranIran has agreed to resume negotiations in Vienna on its nuclear program, starting in November. The chief negotiator, and deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, announced after a meeting with mediators from the European Union. The Iranian diplomat said that the exact date for negotiations, which began last April and then suspended in June, shortly after conservative Ebrahim Raisi’s victory in the presidential election, will be announced next week.

The return to the nuclear deal, signed in 2015 during the presidency of Barack Obama, was promised already during the election campaign by the current president of the United States, Joe Biden. However, Washington has opposed the call for sanctions to be lifted before the talks resume, as requested by Iran.

The sanctions were reintroduced in 2018 after Donald Trump’s exit from the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). After Washington’s withdrawal, the Islamic Republic gradually renounced compliance with its obligations under the agreement, reactivating its nuclear program. As a result, Iran and the United States will return to talk to each other, albeit indirectly with the mediation of Russians, Chinese, and Europeans, to revive the Iranian nuclear deal abandoned by Donald Trump in 2018. The resumption of negotiations in Vienna comes at a delicate moment in relations between Tehran and the international community, worried by the progress made by Iran in the development of its nuclear program.

“I had a severe and constructive dialogue with enriquemora on the essential elements for the success of the negotiations. As a result, we agreed to start negotiations before the end of November. The exact date will be announced in next week,” wrote Ali. Bagheri Kani on Twitter after meeting with the European coordinator of the Vienna talks on Wednesday.

Ali Bagheri Kani, 53, is the Deputy Foreign Minister and the new chief negotiator for Iran on nuclear power. He had already participated in the negotiating tables during Ahmadinejad’s presidency, but the talks led to nothing. He is considered more uncompromising than his predecessor, the moderate Ali Araghchi, and a sceptic of the 2015 agreement known as JCPOA. In an introduction to a Farsi translation of former US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s autobiography, Bagheri Kani wrote down his criticisms of the Iranian diplomats. Who had negotiated the deal and accused them of damaging Iran, limiting its ability to produce atomic energy without a genuine lifting of sanctions in return.

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