| 30 November 2023, Thursday |

Iran, Russia, China: US must lift sanctions all at once as prerequisite to rejoining JCPOA

Heads of the Iranian, Russian and Chinese delegations to the Vienna talks have once again emphasized that the United States must terminate the sanctions it has imposed on the Islamic Republic all at once as a necessary precondition for Washington’s return to a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement.

The senior diplomats held a trilateral meeting in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Tuesday, ahead of a scheduled session of the Joint Commission to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is formally called, on the revival of the agreement, which has been in crisis since the US’s unilateral withdrawal over three years ago.

Participants in the tripartite gathering reviewed the latest situation of the talks surrounding the possible return of the US to the JCPOA and the removal of its sanctions on Iran.

The top Iranian, Chinese and Russian negotiators highlighted full consensus among the three countries on the matter, stressing the need for continued consultations in addition to serious and constant coordination among them during the new round of the Vienna talks.

Commenting on the gathering, Mikhail Ulyanov, the Russian ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, said it was “a very fruitful meeting.”

In a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday, he said the participants discussed possible ways to restore the JCPOA.

The United States left the JCPOA in May 2018 and restored the economic sanctions that the accord had lifted in addition to imposing new non-nuclear ones. Tehran returned the non-commitment of the US to the deal with remedial nuclear measures that it is entitled to take under the JCPOA’s Paragraph 36.

After a change of administration in the US, President Joe Biden has claimed that Washington is ready to rejoin the deal.

The Islamic Republic has insisted that it would only stop its adherence to the JCPOA paragraph once the US removes all the sanctions in one step and after Iran has verified that the sanctions relief has actually taken place. The US has so far failed to meet Iran’s condition.

A diplomatic process has been underway in Vienna since early April, with a focus on the resolution of the Iran-US standoff over the future of the JCPOA.

Speaking at the end of the previous round of talks between the remaining parties to the JCPOA in Vienna on April 20, top Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi said the discussions are “progressive” despite “the existing difficulties” facing the diplomatic process.