Negotiators meeting in Vienna to try to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, which seeks to prevent Tehran from acquiring an atomic bomb, have made “significant progress,” a US State Department spokeswoman said on Thursday (03.03.2022).
“We are close to a possible agreement, but a number of difficult issues remain unresolved,” deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said, echoing what other nations have said in recent weeks.
“We will not have a deal unless we quickly resolve the remaining issues,” he added.
However, “if Iran shows seriousness, we can and must reach an agreement on a mutual return to the full implementation of the JCPOA in a few days,” he clarified, using the acronym that corresponds to the 2015 agreement.
critical days ahead
The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed in 2015, secured sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for strict restrictions on its nuclear program.
The agreement was between Iran, on the one hand, and Germany, China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Russia on the other. And it came undone when former US President Donald Trump stepped down, with the support of Israel, in 2018.
Iran’s enriched uranium stockpiles have reached more than 15 times the limit set in the 2015 deal, the UN’s IAEA nuclear watchdog said on Thursday.
The next few days are seen as critical by the West, which believes the deal may soon be irrelevant at the rate Iran is making nuclear advances.
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