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Iranian negotiator arrives in Vienna for resumption of nuclear talks

Negotiations to start Monday, as Israel sounds alarm bells, US voices skepticism and Iran spars with UN nuclear agency

Screen capture from video of Iran's top nuclear negotiator Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, 2020. (YouTube)
Screen capture from video of Iran's top nuclear negotiator Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri, 2020. (YouTube)

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri arrived Saturday in Vienna ahead of talks aimed at reviving the 2015 deal with world powers on the country’s atomic program, state media said.

“Heading a delegation, Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri has arrived in Vienna, Austria, to attend the next round of the joint commission meeting of the Iran nuclear deal,” said Iran’s official IRNA news agency.

The talks, suspended since June, are due to resume on Monday between Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

The United States will take part indirectly.

The deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was intended to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal by imposing strict limits on its nuclear program and forcing it to remain exclusively civilian and peaceful.

But it unravelled in 2018 when then-US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the accord, and Iran began rolling back its nuclear commitments in retaliation a year later.

The administration of Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, says it is working to return the US to the accord.

Israeli officials have been increasingly sounding alarm bells over Iran’s nuclear program and the negotiations in recent weeks, while Iran sparred with the UN’s nuclear agency and the US voiced growing skepticism that a return to the deal will be possible amid Iran’s intensifying violations.

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