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Russia says Iran nuclear talks enter ‘drafting stage’

A Russian diplomat taking part in talks to save the landmark Iran nuclear deal says the negotiations have entered “the drafting stage” though solutions to some of the issues were “still far away.”

The 2015 agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief has been left hanging by a thread since the US withdrew from the pact in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions, prompting Tehran to step up its nuclear activities.

Diplomats from the parties to the deal — Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and China — have been meeting in Vienna since early this month to find a way to get the pact back on track with US participation under the new Joe Biden administration.

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)

“Summing up the results of two weeks of deliberations on JCPOA restoration we can note with satisfaction that the negotiations entered the drafting stage,” Russian ambassador to Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov writes on Twitter, referring to the acronym of the deal’s formal name.

“Practical solutions are still far away, but we have moved from general words to agreeing on specific steps towards the goal,” he adds.

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