EU official: Deal with Iran is close, but we're not there yet

Top diplomats say further progress was made at talks with Iran in Vienna, but deal not close.

Elad Benari ,

Nuclear talks in Vienna
Nuclear talks in Vienna
Reuters

Top diplomats said Sunday that further progress had been made at talks between Iran and global powers to try to restore the 2015 agreement, adding it was now up to the governments involved in the negotiations to make political decisions, The Associated Press reported.

Enrique Mora, the European Union official who chaired the final meeting of the sixth round of talks between Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran, told reporters that "we are closer to a deal, but we are not still there."

"We have made progress on a number of technical issues," Mora added. "We have now more clarity on technical documents - all of them quite complex - and that clarity allows us to have also a great idea of what the political problems are."

He did not elaborate.

In a written statement after the talks Sunday, the E3 European senior diplomats urged speedy decision-making in the capitals involved in the talks.

"Delegations will now travel to capitals in order to consult with their leadership," the diplomats wrote, adding, "We urge all sides to return to Vienna and be ready to conclude a deal. The time for decision is fast approaching."

Iran's deputy foreign minister for political affairs, Abbas Araqchi, said before Sunday’s meeting that "we think almost all the agreement documents are ready."

"Of the main issues that remain disputed, some have been resolved and some remain, but it has taken on a very precise form and it is quite clear what the dimensions of these disputes are," he was quoted by AP as having said.

Last week, Araqchi said that the indirect talks have come closer than ever to an agreement, but essential issues remain to be negotiated.

Iran has gradually scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal in response to former US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement in May of 2018.

Iran and six world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for both sides to take.

Iran has insisted on a removal of all sanctions, while the Biden administration has insisted that some will remain if they were imposed over other concerns, including human rights and Iran's support for extremist movements.



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