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Nuclear accord negotiators to gather to conclude fifth-round talks

The meeting is to be held amid a situation that some speculations indicate that the talks had reached an impasse.

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A statement issued by the European Union indicated that parties of the nuclear deal would gather in Vienna on Wednesday with the aim of concluding the latest round of talks on reviving the deal. After the meeting, the talks would be adjourned for at least a week, the statement added.

In the statement, the UN announced that “A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will take place in Vienna today, Wednesday 2 June 2021.” The statement did not provide further details regarding what time the meeting would kick off.

Since April, the remaining parties of the 2015 nuclear accord and Iran have been in, which the UN chairs in Vienna. The UN has also arbitrating indirect talks between the United States and Iran through shuttle diplomacy due to the latter refusing to be involved in direct talks with Washington.

The meeting would be held amid a medium where the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, raised its concerns regarding the Iranian nuclear activities. The agency published a report on Monday indicating that some complicated activities had been observed in the Iranian nuclear sites and that Tehran failed to provide any explanation regarding the concerns.

In the report, the IAEA stated that “After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of the three locations where the agency has conducted complementary inspections.”

On the other hand, some reports claiming that the talks in Vienna reached an impasse were circulated. However, the Iranian government spokesperson Ali Rabiei made statements rejecting the latest allegations. Speaking at a news conference organized by a state-run website, Rabiei said that “There is no impasse in the Vienna talks… Negotiations have reached a stage where a few key issues need to be decided, and these issues require the proper attention, perfectionism, and time.”

The fifth round of talks will be concluded with the meeting scheduled for today. Yet, it is unclear that whether the next round would be launched before the Iranian presidential elections scheduled on June 18.

Despite the fact that the participating diplomats had hoped that the parties could reach an agreement at the end of the fifth round of talks, it seems like a sixth-round would be needed. In this sense, head of Iran’s negotiation team in Vienna, deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi indicated on Monday that “the delegates may need to go back to their capitals one more time for consultations.”

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