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Russia, China Say Iran Talks to Resume Next Week

Russia, China Say Iran Talks to Resume Next Week

Friday, 9 April, 2021 - 11:15
The Iranian flag waves in front of the IAEA headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. (Reuters)

Envoys from China and Russia to the Iran nuclear talks said on Friday that all sides would reconvene next week.

Former US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear program. He reimposed US sanctions, prompting Iran in turn to violate the accord’s atomic limits.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s envoy to the UN atomic watchdog, said on Twitter that the Commission will reconvene next week.

Neither the US nor Iran expect fast breakthroughs in the talks that began in Vienna on Tuesday, with European and other diplomats acting as intermediaries because Iran rejects face-to-face talks for now.

The deal’s remaining parties - Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - agreed on Tuesday to form two expert-level groups whose job is to marry lists of sanctions that the US could lift with nuclear obligations Iran should meet.

Iran’s foreign ministry said in a statement diplomats would meet again on Wednesday in Vienna. Working groups, which are chaired by the European Union and exclude the US, will continue their work in the background.

Western diplomats have suggested they would know in a matter of weeks whether several rounds of talks would bear fruit before Iran’s June 18 presidential election.

“Given the technical complexity of the nuclear aspects and legal intricacies of sanctions lifting, it would be very optimistic to think a few weeks,” a senior European diplomatic source said.

US officials have said they are being briefed on the meetings, Reuters reported.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters, has opposed any gradual easing of sanctions.

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