| 23 May 2024, Thursday |

Iran submits drafts on sanctions removal, nuclear commitments in Vienna

After four days of intense deliberations between Iran and the P4+1 countries, Iran has submitted two key drafts pertaining to removal of sanctions and nuclear commitments to the European parties currently holding talks in Vienna to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal, as announced by Iran’s lead negotiator, Ali Bagheri-Kani.
The senior Iranian diplomat told reporters that other parties, referring to the Europeans, need to “study” the drafts delivered by Iran and return for “serious discussions.”
“If they are ready to continue the talks, we are in Vienna to continue talks,” Bagheri said.
He added that the first draft is about Iran’s demand for sanctions to be lifted, while the second draft is about Iran’s nuclear commitments and activities.
The seventh round of talks resumed on Monday after a five-month hiatus during which a new government took over in Tehran.
During Monday’s talks, the Iranian delegation reportedly made a strong pitch for the removal of sanctions and prioritizing it over other issues.
It insisted that the measures taken by Tehran since May 2019, a year after the US withdrawal, have been “within the framework” of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Enrique Mora, the top EU representative who co-chaired the meeting with Bagheri, noted a “sense of urgency” about reviving the nuclear deal but referred to many “political and technical issues” impeding the efforts.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, expert-level meetings of two working groups – removal of sanctions and nuclear issues – were discussed by the parties.
Following the submission of drafts, Bagheri on Thursday held a meeting with Enrique Mora as well as the negotiators from E3 countries – France, Germany, and the UK.
He is also expected to meet the head of UN nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, later in the day to discuss the two drafts.
On Wednesday, there were reports that the European parties have called for an end to the latest round of talks in Vienna, asking for a timeline and deadline.
Iran has responded by saying it is willing to continue talks “as long as required,” with a focus on getting sanctions lifted.
Importantly, while Iran’s top priority in these talks is the removal of sanctions, the US has called on Tehran to first return to full compliance with the deal and reverse all recent nuclear measures.
In a tweet late on Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian stated that the talks are “proceeding with seriousness” and sanctions removal is being treated as a “fundamental priority” by Iran.
“Good deal (is) within reach if the West shows goodwill. We seek rational, sober & result-oriented dialogue,” he added.