State Dept. holds Iran talks in Vienna to restore failed 2015 deal

Abbas Araghchi political deputy at the Iranian foreign ministry arrives at the Grand Hotel in Vienna

Iran has steadily overstepped the accord's limits on its nuclear programme in response to Washington's unilateral withdrawal from the accord in 2018 and its reimposition of sanctions that have crippled the Islamic Republic's economy.

Diplomats saw Tuesday's meeting as a small but significant step on the road to restoring the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Iran accepted severe curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of global sanctions.

Russian diplomat participating in talks to save 2015 JCPOA accord says meeting in Vienna has been "successful", though salvage efforts will take time. "The most important thing after today's meeting of the Joint Commission is that practical work towards achieving this goal has started". The U.S. first offered to meet the Iranians in February, but weeks of outreach through European allies have been rejected by the Iranian government. Tehran's moves have been calculated to pressure other signatories to do more to offset crippling U.S. sanctions reimposed under Trump.

Joe Biden's State Department has continued its policy of appeasement of Iran while touting a gradual restoration of the failed 2015 nuclear deal. The plan required Iran to scale back its nuclear program and severely downgrade its uranium reserves in exchange for sanctions relief, including lifting the arms embargo five years after the deal's adoption.

"The talks in Vienna were constructive. our next meeting will be on Friday", Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi told Iranian state television. While they're slated for one day, it could extend on, especially if the separate "working groups" make progress and bring in technical experts to finalize details on Iranian and US compliance.

At the meeting, participants agreed to establish two expert-level groups, one to work on the lifting of sanctions and the other to work on nuclear issues.

In the latest announced violation, Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for Iran's civilian nuclear program, said officials had begun mechanical testing of an IR-9 prototype centrifuge. That centrifuge would enrich uranium 50 times faster than the IR-1 that is allowed under the accord, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

The clock is ticking on trying to get the USA back into the deal, with the goal of returning Iran to compliance, with a number of issues to consider.

World powers, Iran, U.S. launch indirect talks to revive nuclear deal
US, Iran move closer but stay apart in nuclear talks

"But we're much better off talking about all of that if we could at least put the current nuclear issue to the side and not have to worry every day about what the latest Iranian announcement will be", he said.

Under the agreement, Iran will no longer share surveillance footage of its nuclear facilities with the IAEA but it has promised to preserve the tapes for three months. It will then hand them over to the IAEA if it is granted sanctions relief. Otherwise, Iran has vowed to erase the recordings, narrowing the window for a diplomatic breakthrough.

Malley's remarks came as parties to the 2015 deal - including the U.S. and Iran, as well as British, French, and German representatives - gathered in the Austrian capital for a multi-day round of talks, with the latter delegations facilitating indirect talks between the Americans and Iranians.

"And, you know, we have concerns about Iran's ballistic missile program", he added.

Though not taking part in the JCPOA talks, a USA delegation headed by the administration's special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley was also in the Austrian capital. "We don't anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough", State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday - before calling the indirect talks a "healthy step forward".

While Tehran has repeatedly rebuffed "direct and indirect negotiations" with its old foe, Washington said on Monday it expected the discussions to be hard. We've seen the result of the maximum pressure campaign.

But Press TV, an Iranian state media outlet, reported that Malley and the US delegation will "leave Vienna empty-handed if the Tuesday meeting would result in anything other than the removal of all USA sanctions", citing an "an informed source close to the Iranian negotiating team".

It has refused to meet United States negotiators at the latest talks, meaning European players will act as intermediaries. "We do what is necessary to move forward", she told reporters at a press briefing in Brussels.

Army Chief Denies Claim Jordan's Prince Hamza is Under Arrest
Abdullah has ruled Jordan since the 1999 death of of his father, King Hussein, who ruled the country for close to a half-century. Jordanian security forces have arrested top officials and others on "security related" grounds, according to Petra news agency.

Related News:



Most liked

Alberta outbreak of Brazilian COVID-19 variant linked to three workplaces
As for vaccines, Alberta has distributed over 707,000 doses to date with 116,198 Albertans now fully vaccinated with two doses. The province saw another 887 new cases in the past 24 hours after 9,102 tests were performed for a positivity rate of 9.89%.

California To Fully Open Economy June 15
The mask mandate will remain in place, but businesses and other venues will be allowed to reopen without occupancy limits. The Santa Monica Pier welcomed outdoor visitors on Monday as Los Angeles County entered the less restrictive orange tier.

Fort Detrick police kill sailor who wounded two in off-base shooting
The names and ages of the victims and the suspect were not immediately disclosed, the spokesman said. "It's very tragic. Lando said the man who was killed on base was the same person who shot the two people at the business park.

Toronto schools to close Wednesday for in-person learning
Students also need to wear a mask that fits well when outside their homes, wash their hands often and stay home if they are sick. A spokesperson for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health said school closures are "an area of active discussion".

EMA official links AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots
The EMA has so far maintained the benefits of the AstraZeneca jab in protecting against the coronavirus outweigh any risks. Mr Cavaleri said they are still trying to understand where exactly this link comes from.

Ontario logs 3,065 new COVID-19 cases ahead of vaccine update
Quebec now has 123 people in intensive care for COVID-19, which is still well below the stated capacity of 383. The last time the province reported a positivity rate that high was three months ago on January 5.

Police say they're responding to a shooting in Frederick, Maryland
After the shooting, a victim entered a nearby business, Nicolock Paving Stones, and asked for help, a person there said. The names and ages of the victims and the suspect were not immediately disclosed, the spokesman said .

B.C. records almost 1,900 new COVID-19 cases in two days
There have been 16,637 county residents who have recovered from the coronavirus with the 86 recoveries recorded Monday. A telephone option is also available and people can register in person at their nearest Service BC location.

Australia and New Zealand announce travel bubble starts from April
Returning New Zealand residents would be required to undergo 14 days in hotel quarantine, at their own expense. Ms Ardern called the bubble a "world-first" arrangement.

Newtownabbey: Petrol bombs and bricks launched at PSNI
Petrol bombs and bricks were thrown at officers in loyalist areas in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus on Easter Sunday night. Fifteen officers were injured in Belfast, while 12 officers were hurt in Derry after being targeted by mainly young people.

COVID-19 vaccinations launches Tuesday
The changes to the vaccine booking process mean B.C.is moving into Phase 3 of its four-phase vaccination plan, the statement said. On Tuesday, all of the phone numbers for the individual health authorities will shut down, with a central call centre opening.

Joe Biden was reduced to tears by Hunter Biden's addiction
Certainly, there could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me. "It could be that it was stolen from me", he said. He also has three children from his previous marriage to Kathleen, and a son named Beau with wife Melissa.

Leak at wastewater pond prompts evacuations
The pond where the leak was found is in a stack of phosphogypsum, a radioactive waste product from the manufacture of fertiliser. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the water is safe to drink. "Evacuate area NOW.

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein of Jordan's 'house arrest' message in full
Yaser al-Majali, director of Hamzah's office, and Adnan Abu Hammad, who manages the prince's palace, are among the detainees. He said Sharif Hassan Bin Zeid and former minister Bassem Awadallah, and others, were arrested as part of it.

Taiwan prosecutors probe train crash that killed 51
Priest Sung Chih-chiang was there as a show of support... to the survivors. "She could not find her daughter". The railway administration is also without a permanent director after its former chief retired in January.