Diplomats: Progress made in Vienna at Iran nuclear talks

Diplomats: Progress made in Vienna at Iran nuclear talks

Vienna: Top diplomats said Sunday further progress had been made at talks between Iran and global powers to try to negotiate and restore a landmark 2015 agreement to contain Iranian nuclear development that was later abandoned by the Trump administration.

They said that it was now up to the governments involved in the negotiations to make political decisions.

It was the first official meeting since Iran's hard-line judiciary chief won a landslide victory in the country's presidential election last week.

Some diplomats expressed concern that Iran's election of Ebrahim Raisi as president could complicate a possible return to the agreement.

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 further elaborate on the nature of the technical issues.

Top Russian representative Mikhail Ulyanov said the members of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, "took stock of the significant progress made at the Vienna talks, including at the sixth round, and decided to make a break to allow participants to consult with their capitals in preparation for what is supposed to be the final round of negotiations.

There are a few controversial points which require political decisions. Apparently diplomatic efforts to find common language have been almost fully exhausted. So the time has come for political decisions, Ulyanov added.

The nations involved in the negotiations have been trying to resolve the major outstanding issues on how to return the US into the landmark agreement, which then-US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of unilaterally in 2018. Trump also restored and augmented sanctions to try to force Iran into renegotiating the pact with more concessions.

Ulyanov said that after heading back to report on the talks' results to their respective governments, he expected the diplomats to return for the final round of talks in Vienna in 10 days or by mid-July.

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