Iran talks moving ‘slowly but steadily’ says Russia’s ambassador in Vienna

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Vienna talks continue steadily between Iran and other signatories of the original 2015 nuclear accord. On Wednesday, Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri said he believed talks were moving forward positively.

He said the more serious each side takes the talks, the sooner he believed an agreement could be reached.

Russia's envoy in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said JCPOA participants should meet regularly without Iran. AFP© ALEX HALADA Russia’s envoy in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said JCPOA participants should meet regularly without Iran. AFP

Russia’s envoy in Vienna also expressed optimism and said talks were moving “slowly but steadily”. Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov posted a picture to social media showing participants meeting with the US after earlier meetings with Iran.

He wrote on Twitter: “Regular meetings of JCPOA participants (without Iran) and the US after 6pm provide a good opportunity to take stock of the latest developments in the course of the Vienna talks.”

The US Iran envoy Rob Malley is said to be in Vienna for the talks. This week, the US has seemingly moved away from threats over a potential plan B should the diplomatic negotiations fail. Earlier in the week, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US was modestly optimistic over the talks.

Mr Ulyanov also took to Twitter to say that deadlines on when talks would end were fluid.

Negotiators had said that the end of January or early February could mark the final round of talks. But Mr Ulyanov wrote: “Participation in the Vienna talks is voluntary. Each delegation can set a deadline for itself. But diplomatic work often does not fit into rigid schemes and deadlines.”

Despite the change in tone from the earlier rounds of talks in Vienna, Axios reports that National Security adviser Jake Sullivan recently spoke to Israeli officials about the possibility “snapback” UN sanctions as a deterrent for Iran. Snapback sanctions were part of the original 2015 deal and were put in place to deter Iran from violating the accord.

Although Iran is currently under a heavy sanctions regime, the current sanctions are not UN sanctions or part of the original snapbacks, but rather unilateral US sanctions.

Israel has long been against any sort of nuclear deal with Iran and its former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the biggest supporters of President Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 deal.

Although Israel has been vocal in its opposition in recent weeks, Prime Minister

Iran talks moving ‘slowly but steadily’ says Russia’s ambassador in Vienna (msn.com)

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