EU talks up hope of breakthrough in Iran nuclear negotiations

VIENNA — European Union negotiators say international talks that resumed today on the Iran nuclear agreement are on track to revive the deal, which crumbled after the United States withdrew in 2018.

Senior diplomats from China, Germany, France, Russia and Britain conclude a 90-minute meeting with Iranian representatives at a hotel in the Austrian capital.

“We are making progress, but the negotiations are intense and a number of issues (remain), including on how steps are to be implemented,” EU representative Alain Matton tells reporters in Vienna.

The United States is not formally part of meetings that launched in Vienna earlier this year. But the administration of President Joe Biden has signaled willingness to rejoin the deal under terms that would broadly see the US scale back sanctions on Tehran and Iran return to abiding by the limits on its nuclear activity contained in the 2015 agreement.

“The EU will continue with the talks with all the participants…and separately with the United States to find ways to get very close to a final agreement in the coming days,” Matton says.

Diplomats say complicating factors have included the sequence of the proposed measures, dealing with advances in Iran’s nuclear processing capability since the United States withdrew, and the presidential election in Iran next week.

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