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EghtesadOnline: Members of the 2015 nuclear deal’s Joint Commission decided on Tuesday to take a break from their ongoing negotiations on the agreement’s revival to allow delegations to hold consultations with their capitals before resuming work next week.

According to ISNA, they also agreed to set up a new expert group, in addition to the previous two, to work on practical arrangements needed for the United States’ sanctions lifting and its return to the deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 

Negotiations started early this month between Iran and the remaining parties to the nuclear agreement – who are conducting shuttle diplomacy with the US – to revive the deal that has been faltering since Washington pulled out and restored tough anti-Iran sanctions and Tehran responded by surpassing the limits of the deal.

The new US administration is willing to rejoin the deal and Iran is ready to resume full compliance, but there is disagreement over the measures to be taken by each side and the order of the process.

Two expert groups have already been tasked with devising a feasible process for US sanctions lifting and Iran’s full nuclear implementation. They regularly share the outcome of their work with the Joint Commission that held its latest session on Tuesday.  

The meeting was chaired as usual by Deputy Secretary-General and Political Director of European External Action Service Enrique Mora and attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran.

Participants took stock of the latest developments in technical talks and drafts of initial documents and discussed how to resume the discussions. 

The cCommission’s chairman said in a tweet that progress has been made over the last two weeks, “but much more hard work is needed”.

“Third expert group was created to address sequencing issues. I continue to think that diplomacy is only way forward for the #JCPOA to address ongoing challenges,” Mora added. 

Following the meeting, Iran’s top negotiator Abbas Araqchi said despite challenges and difficulties, the process is moving forward.

He reiterated Iran’s position on the path to be taken for the deal’s restoration, stressing that the Islamic Republic would terminate the talks as soon as it diverges toward adventurous and illogical demands.

The top diplomat had earlier said Iran is only negotiating a final step toward removing the illegal US sanctions, dismissing rumors about a step-by-step plan or an interim agreement as baseless. 

While some diplomats have said sequenced steps by each side may offer a solution, western reports suggested that the talks might yield an interim deal to give space to diplomacy on a lasting settlement.

Araqchi stressed that Iran sticks to its stated policy in the negotiations, which is to return to full implementation only after the verified lifting of sanctions by the US.

He said Iran would neither allow the talks to become extensive, nor rush into achieving an outcome.

“Negotiations must be carried out with care while maintaining adherence to the definite stance and safeguarding the interests of the country,” he said. 



JCPOA nuclear deal