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Iran, EU say nuclear talks to resume on November 29 in Vienna

Long-stalled negotiations to move forward; US says a deal is possible if Tehran is ‘serious’

The 'Grand Hotel Wien' where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran were taking place in Vienna, Austria, April 27, 2021. (Lisa Leutner/AP)
The 'Grand Hotel Wien' where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran were taking place in Vienna, Austria, April 27, 2021. (Lisa Leutner/AP)

BELGIUM, Brussels — Nuclear talks between world powers and Tehran on reviving the Iran nuclear deal will resume in Vienna on November 29, the EU said in a statement Wednesday.

“The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will convene in a physical format on 29 November in Vienna,” said the EU’s European External Action Service in a statement.

The meeting would be chaired by Enrique Mora on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the statement added.

The United States — which is willing to rejoin the deal if Iran rolls back nuclear advances it has made in retaliation for US sanctions — said an agreement was possible if Iran was “serious.”

In Tehran, Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, Iran’s lead negotiator, confirmed the November 29 resumption of talks in Vienna. He tweeted that the date had been set in a phone call with Mora.

The EU statement said that the remaining parties to the deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran — would be represented.

“Participants will continue the discussions on the prospect of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all sides,” it said.

Bagheri tweeted: “We agreed to start the negotiations aiming at removal of unlawful and inhumane sanctions on 29 November in Vienna.”

The nuclear deal began to fall apart in 2018 when then-US president Donald Trump’s administration withdrew from it and reinstated sanctions.

Iran in turn again started to ramp up its nuclear activities, particularly enrichment of uranium which is bringing it nearer to the threshold of making a bomb.

Talks began in April in Vienna between Tehran and the remaining five parties to the 2015 deal, aimed at bringing Washington back into the agreement. But that dialogue has been stalled since the sixth round of talks in June, when ultraconservative Ebrahim Raisi won Iran’s presidential election.

The UN’s atomic watchdog has said Iran is increasingly in violation of the JCPOA.

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