France, on Monday (28/2), said that negotiations for the restoration of the 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear program were “important” to be concluded this week.
All sides signaled progress in the talks being held in Vienna, but Iran said the West still needed to decide on some key issues.
“There is an urgent urgency to conclude negotiations (by) this week,” a French foreign ministry spokesman said.
Parties to the 2015 deal saw it as the best way to stop the Islamic republic’s development of a nuclear bomb – a charge Tehran has always denied.
Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri, returned to Vienna after returning last Wednesday for consultations, as several expert-level talks continued in Vienna.
Negotiations to revive the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), involve Iran and France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China directly, and the United States indirectly.
The 2015 agreement gave Iran relief from economic sanctions with guaranteed curbs on its nuclear program, but the US unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 under Donald Trump’s presidency, who re-imposed tough economic sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation.
America’s withdrawal prompted Iran to begin canceling its own commitments and developing its own nuclear program.
During the talks in Vienna, Iran has repeatedly sought assurances from the administration of US President Joe Biden that an incident like the Trump administration will not repeat itself.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday that talks are now at a “defining moment” and the United States wants to see “additional clarity in the coming days” about Tehran’s position. [mg/lt]