The United States and Iran agreed Tuesday (6) to create two working groups to try to bring the two countries to respect the nuclear agreement between the Iranians and the great powers of the world. A first report is expected later this week.
The decision marks the first day of negotiations in Vienna, where the pact was originally signed in 2015. Iran has met with the other current members of the agreement – UK, China, France, Germany, Russia and the coordinator in head of the European Union – in a large hotel lobby, while the US team, led by Special Envoy Robert Malley, worked separately at a nearby hotel, five minutes away.
Without face-to-face negotiations – Iran has refused to meet directly with the United States – the Europeans are working on a kind of intermediary diplomacy, moving between the delegations of the two countries.
At the end of the meetings, all parties agreed to create a working group to align the interests of the United States and Iran and to report on Friday (9).
Thus, one group will focus on how to bring Washington back to the deal by lifting the economic sanctions imposed after the withdrawal, decided by then-President Donald Trump in May 2018. The other group will think about how to bring back the ‘Iran to respect the limits. of the pact on nuclear enrichment of uranium.
So far, Tehran and Washington have given the talks a positive nod. The main negotiator on the Iranian side, Abbas Araqchi, said the first talks were “constructive”.
“We are convinced that we are on the right track and, if the will, seriousness and honesty of the United States are proven, it could be a good sign for a better future for this agreement,” added the spokesperson. word of the Iranian government Ali Rabiei.
“Although we are not meeting the Iranians directly, these talks are a welcome step,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference in the US capital.
Moscow envoy and ambassador to international organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said the two groups had already started their efforts to identify concrete steps to move forward, but stressed that the negotiations should not give immediate results.
“Restoring the agreement will not happen immediately. It will take time. How long? Nobody knows, ”he wrote on his social networks.
Iran and the United States both insist they want to return to the deal, but disagree on who should take the first step. Therefore, the ongoing negotiations also aim to create a roadmap for a synchronized return to compliance with the pact.
Even if there is an agreement, the verification may still take some time due to technical complications and lack of confidence on both sides.
Underlining the difficulties of a breakthrough, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iranian envoy to the United Nations and former nuclear negotiator, blamed Washington.
“So far the United States has failed to keep the election promise [de Joe Biden] to re-join the agreement. Therefore, this opportunity should not be missed, “he said on his social media.” If the United States suspends all sanctions, Iran will suspend all corrective measures. “
Biden has vowed to return to the deal, which would mean the removal of the nearly 1,600 sanctions imposed on Iran after Trump abandoned it. The Republican maximum pressure policy has prevented European and other companies from doing business with Iran, and the signatories have failed to provide the economic benefits due. After about a year of disruption, Iran began to violate the enrichment limits set in the pact.
The Democrat also said he wanted to build a “longer and stronger deal” that would address other issues, including Iran’s long-term nuclear program, its ballistic missile development and its support for Iranian governments. Middle East.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all national issues, has opposed any gradual easing of sanctions. Also on the Iranian side, the country will hold presidential elections in June and the government clearly wants to show progress in talks to lift foreign sanctions against the local economy.