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Iran, EU report ‘progress’ in Vienna nuclear talks

A dog passes by policemen guarding the entrance to the Grand Hotel Wien during the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna on April 16, 2021, where diplomats of the EU, China, Russia and Iran hold their talks. (JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
A dog passes by policemen guarding the entrance to the Grand Hotel Wien during the closed-door nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna on April 16, 2021, where diplomats of the EU, China, Russia and Iran hold their talks. (JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Talks on Iran’s nuclear program aimed at salvaging a 2015 deal made “progress” Saturday, a day after Tehran says it had started producing uranium at 60 percent purity.

Iran has warned it would sharply ramp up its enrichment of uranium earlier this week, after an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility that it blamed on arch-foe Israel. Earlier today, Iranian state television named a suspect – 43-year-old Reza Karimi – in the attack that damaged centrifuges at Natanz and said he fled the country.

European Union envoy Enrique Mora says that “progress has been made in a far from easy task. We need now more detailed work.”

Russian ambassador to Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov adds that “participants took note with satisfaction of the progress made so far and expressed determination to continue negotiations with a view to complete the process successfully as soon as possible.”

Speaking to reporters, China’s envoy to the talks, Wang Qun, says that “all parties have agreed to further pick up their pace in subsequent days by engaging (in) more extensive, substantive work on sanctions-lifting as well as other relevant issues,” Reuters reported.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister and head of the delegation to Vienna, Abbas Araghchi, says that there were “good discussions” in the session and that “a new understanding is being formed.”

“There’s an agreement on a final target between all. The path is now more clear. But the path will not be an easy path. There are some serious differences,” he adds.

The ongoing discussions involved EU officials and representatives from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran. The talks are aimed at determining which sanctions the United States should lift and the measures Iran has to take in order to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program.

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