Iran nuclear talks in Vienna 'not collapsing': Russian ambassador

Iran nuclear talks in Vienna are not collapsing, Russian ambassador assures
2 min read
04 May, 2021
A Russian ambassador has pushed back against claims the talks in Vienna are collapsing, and instead said that good progress is being made.
Mikhail Ulyanov has pushed back against claims of a collapse [Getty]
A Russian official has denied reports that talks in Vienna, aimed at restarting the Iran nuclear deal have collapsed. 

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's permanent representative to international organisations in Vienna, took to Twitter on Tuesday to dispel rumours that the talks between Iran and world powers were faltering. 

"Read with surprise comments of some analysts who claim that the Vienna talks on #JCPOA are 'collapsing'," he wrote

"This is wishful thinking of those who are against efforts to strengthen nuclear non-proliferation regime based on #NPT. In real life the talks are making progress," he continued. 

The third round of Vienna talks concluded on Saturday and the delegates returned to their countries of origins for consultations regarding the progress of the talks.

Abbas Araghchi, the head of Iran's negotiating committee, suggested that positive steps to identify differences had been taken, but that the talks are "moving forward despite the disagreements".

"Sanctions… on Iran's energy sector, which include oil and gas, or those on the automotive industry, financial, banking and port sanctions, all should be lifted based on agreements reached so far," Araghchi told Iranian television, adding that negotiations about when and how to lift these sanctions were "continuing".

He also revealed that talks had entered a stage where texts were being prepared, but this was slow work. 

The US has been involved in the talks but has not been present in the room due to the Iranians refusal to engage in direct talks. They did, however, also suggest that progress was being made at the talks in Vienna. 

"We've seen willingness of all sides, including the Iranians, to talk seriously about sanctions relief restrictions and a pathway back into the JCPOA," Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser told Reuters last Friday. 

Read more: Detente in Baghdad: Could Saudi-Iran talks finally defuse the region's biggest rivalry?

The resumption of the Iran nuclear deal has been a central foreign policy aim for the Biden administration, who want to reverse a Trump-era policy that saw the US unilaterally withdraw from the deal and Iran steadily increase nuclear activity. 

Earlier talks were dealt a heavy blow by an Israeli attack that targeted the Natanz nuclear facility near Tehran. 

Iran responded to the attack by increasing nuclear enrichment to 60 percent.

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