Iran nuclear talks to pause for consultations
High-level talks in Vienna regarding the Iran nuclear deal will continue for several days and then break, to allow delegations from Iran and the US to return home for consultations, Reuters reported a European Union official as saying Friday.
The talks are being attended by Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany, and Britain, and overseen by the European Union.
Iran has refused to hold direct talks with the US, and as a result an American delegation is based in a nearby hotel.
The second round of talks began on Thursday, and seek to return the US to the deal, following their withdrawal in 2018, allow for the lifting of sanctions, and roll-back Iranian activities that exceed the limits of the original deal.
Speaking during a phone briefing, an EU official told Reuters that discussion are set to continue, “for a few days and then I think the two most relevant delegations will go back home to receive more precise instructions and then, I don't know when, we will resume.”
Efforts to restart the nuclear deal and return Iran to compliance were dealt a heavy blow, when an explosion hit the Natanz enrichment facility, for which Iran blamed Israel.
In response to this attack, Iran announced that it would raise it enrichment level to 60 percent, stepping closer to weapons grade material.
“We have this (Iranian) decision to go for 60 percent enrichment. Obviously this is not making the negotiation easier,” said the official.
The official added that it was not yet clear how long the talks would last in total.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the talks earlier in the week.
“The offers they provide are usually arrogant and humiliating [and] are not worth looking at,” Khamenei said.