Iran’s top nuclear negotiator and a senior US envoy will travel to Vienna this week for talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear pact, officials from both governments said on Wednesday, reviving a process that stalled in June.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Tehran was willing to reach an agreement guaranteeing its rights, according to state media.
“(The Iranian negotiator) Bagheri Kani will leave Tehran in a few hours (…) In this round of talks, which will be held as usual with the coordination of the European Union, the ideas presented by the different parties will be discussed,” Kanani said.
Without providing further details, a US official said Rob Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, will travel to Vienna for talks this week on reviving the nuclear deal.
Last month, the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said he had proposed a new draft text to revive the deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, calling it too soft, and re-imposed harsh sanctions on Iran, leading Tehran to breach nuclear limits set out in the pact.
The deal appeared poised to be revived in March after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and the administration of President Joe Biden in Vienna.
However, talks stalled over several obstacles, including Tehran’s demand that Washington provide guarantees that no US president would abandon the deal, as Trump did.
Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally binding treaty.
EU-mediated indirect talks between Bagheri Kani and Malley, aimed at breaking the impasse on how to save the 2015 nuclear deal, ended in Qatar in June with no progress.
“Iran is determined to reach a stable agreement that guarantees the rights and interests of the Iranian nation,” Kanaani said, calling on Washington to “provide conditions for the effective progress of the talks by taking the necessary decisions.”
An Iranian official told Reuters the talks in Vienna will have “the format of the Doha meeting”, in which EU envoy Enrique Mora was traveling to hold separate meetings with Bagheri Kani and Malley, because Tehran refused. to hold direct talks with Washington.
Early on Wednesday, Mora tweeted: “On the way to Vienna to discuss the return of the #PAIC to full implementation based on the coordinator’s text presented on July 20,” referring to the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan by its acronym.
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