In order to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran has submitted two key drafts demanding to remove sanctions and urge for nuclear commitments to the European parties currently holding talks in Vienna.
The announcement of the drafts was made by Iran’s lead negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, on Thursday morning after four days of intense deliberations between Iran and the P4+1 countries.
Referring specifically to the European members of the negotiations, Ali Bagheri Kani told reporters that other parties need to “study” the drafts delivered by Iran and return for “serious discussions.” He expressed that, “If they are ready to continue the talks, we are in Vienna to continue talks.”
He added that, while the second draft is about Iran’s nuclear commitments and activities, the first draft is about Iran’s demand for the lifting of sanctions.
After a five-month hiatus during which a new government under Ebrahim Raisi took power in Tehran, the seventh round of nuclear talks resumed on Monday.
Reportedly, the Iranian delegation made a strong pitch for the removal of sanctions and prioritized it over other issues during Monday’s talks, insisting that the measures taken by Tehran since May 2019, a year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, have been “within the framework” of the deal.
Referring to the many “political and technical issues” impeding the negotiation process, Enrique Mora, the top EU representative who co-chaired the meeting with his Iranian counterpart, noted a “sense of urgency” about reviving the nuclear deal.
In the following days, expert-level meetings of two working groups focused on the removal of sanctions and nuclear issues.
On Thursday, Ali Bagheri Kani held a meeting with Enrique Mora as well as the negotiators from E3 countries – France, Germany, and the UK, after submitting the drafts. Later in the day, he also met with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, to discuss the two drafts.
Meanwhile, although Iran expressed that its top priority in these talks is the removal of sanctions, the US has called on Tehran to first return to full compliance with the deal and reverse all recent nuclear measures.
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a tweet late on Wednesday, stated that the talks are “proceeding with seriousness” and the removal of sanctions is being treated as a “fundamental priority” by Iran.
The Iranian foreign minister added that “a good deal is within reach if the West shows goodwill. We seek rational, sober & result-oriented dialogue.”