Prospects of Iran nuclear talks: positive signals

Wednesday, 2021-10-20 17:26:15
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At the meeting of the Joint Commission on the JCPOA in Vienna, Austria on May 19. (Photo: xinhua/VNA)
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NDO - Iran has suddenly revealed its plan to resume nuclear talks with the P4+1 group (including Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany).

Tehran's agreement to return to the negotiation table after four months of “freeze” is considered a positive signal towards breaking the deadlock on this always difficult issue.

The unexpected information was announced by Iranian MP Ahmad Alirezabeigi to the press shortly after a closed-door meeting with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. According to MP Ahmad Alirezabeigi, negotiations on the nuclear issue between Iran and the P4+1 group will restart in Brussels (Belgium) tomorrow (October 21), instead of Vienna (Austria) like the previous rounds of negotiations.

Immediately after the Iranian side’s revelation, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell confirmed and conveyed his ‘optimism’ on the prospects of the new Iran nuclear talks. In the context of Iranian hardline President Ebrahim Raisi still expressing a “cold attitude”, after the visit by the EU coordinator to Iran Enrique Mora in mid-October, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said the talks will resume in Brussels while emphasising Tehran hopes the talks will bring about substantive effectiveness and an agreement to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). President Ebrahim Raisi said Tehran was ready for the negotiations aimed at the revival of the faltering 2015 nuclear deal, towards lifting sanctions but not under Western "pressure".

Earlier, the two leading EU countries of France and Germany, two members of the Quad on Iran nuclear issue, urged Tehran to return to the negotiations soon. During separate phone calls, the French and German foreign ministers emphasised to their Iranian counterpart the importance and urgency of the early resumption of talks, in the context of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) warning that Iran had accelerated uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade.

Under the 2015 JCPOA signed by Iran with the P5+1 group (including Britain, the US, France, Russia, China and Germany), Tehran had limited its uranium enrichment programme in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA and unilaterally re-imposed sanctions on Iran. In response, Tehran gradually abandoned the implementation of commitments in the JCPOA since May 2019.

Iran's sudden agreement to a return to talks has given Western countries a "green light" on the possibility of reaching an agreement on the nuclear issue. For the international community, this is a positive signal to finally solve Tehran's nuclear problem.

Song Khanh
Translated by NDO