The Gaza Post|The News of Palestine-Vienna
The remaining signatories of the Iran nuclear deal returned on Friday to the negotiations table in Vienna, in an effort to counter the repercussions of the United States’ withdrawal from the 2015 pact.
Held in the presence of Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano, talks hoped to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPO), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Tehran gave European countries until the end of May to provide economic and legal guarantees, and fulfill a number of demands, for it to remain in the deal.
Two days ago, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced a set of five conditions for Iran to remain in the agreement.
Tehran’s top diplomat, and one of the deal’s architects, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, said the future of the agreement will be decided in Iran after his team wraps up the Vienna talks.
The 11th Vienna meeting was held at the request of the Iranian Foreign Ministry to discuss the implications of the US pullout.
Representatives from each of Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China took part in the negotiations, led by senior European Union diplomat Helga Schmid.
A day before the meeting, the IAEA issued its eleventh statement reaffirming Iran’s commitment to the nuclear agreement, but at the same time stated that Tehran was not doing enough in terms of inspections.
Inspection access was one of the reasons cited by the US administration when pulling out on May 8.
Based on the stances of Iranian officials, it appeared that the future of the deal hinges on the positions of European countries, regardless of stances voiced by Russia and China.
Concern was expressed clearly within Iranian circles over the possibility of China changing its stance, should Tehran be sanctioned once again.
The Vienna meeting discussed sales of Iranian oil and gas, banking relations and air transport.
“For the time being, we are negotiating … to see if they can provide us with a package that can actually give Iran the benefits of sanctions-lifting,” Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters Friday after holding talks with diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China.
“Then, the next step is to find guarantees for that package, and we need both legal and political commitments by the remaining participants in the [nuclear deal].”
“We expect Europe to put the package (promises) by next week,” Araqchi told AFP.
Source: Al sharq Alawsat