Iranian media claimed last week that Tehran and Washington had reached an initial agreement on lifting most of the US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
“A series of diplomatic contacts and news of significant progress” indicates that indirect talks between Iran and the United States for a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “could be close to an agreement.” The Associated Press said today.
The talks are part of the Vienna negotiations to bring Washington and Tehran back into compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the White House unilaterally abandoned in 2018. The talks are being led by representatives from Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Iran. And Germany.
Late last week, the Iranian newspaper, Fars News, reported that Tehran and Washington had agreed to lift US sanctions on Iranian individuals and institutions, as well as the oil and banking sectors in the Islamic Republic.
© AP Photo / Vahid Salemi
An employee in the uranium enrichment plant in the Iranian city of Isfahan
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s representative to international organizations in Vienna, tweeted last week that “indisputable progress” had been made in the talks, indicating that the JCPOJ would meet again at the end of next week.
“Where are the Vienna talks on restoring the JCPOA? It’s too early to be enthusiastic, but we have reasons for cautious and growing optimism. There is no deadline, but the participants aim to successfully complete the talks in about three weeks. Realistic? We’ll see.”
But the US State Department was not so optimistic, saying, “We are not at the height of a détente.”
2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA)
The JCPOA was signed in 2015 by Iran, China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, along with the European Union.
Iran should have reduced its nuclear program and drastically reduced its uranium reserves in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
However, in 2018, US President Donald Trump announced the unilateral withdrawal from the agreement, initiating a strategy of imposing tough new sanctions on Iran.
Iran then began to suspend its obligations stipulated in the document, and Tehran’s positions became tougher after the killing of the physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.