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EghtesadOnline: The Joint Commission of the 2015 nuclear deal decided to speed up the process of negotiations aimed at reviving the faltering agreement during their latest meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Tuesday.

They also agreed to urge the expert groups on sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation to expedite their work, ISNA reported. 

A third working group was also officially set up to address issues regarding the sequence of steps to be taken by each side. 

Parties to the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, resumed the course of talks after a break when delegates returned to their capitals for consultations. 

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

A delegation from the United States was also present in the city for informal talks with the remaining signatories. 

JCPOA has been unraveling since the US pulled out and restored sweeping sanctions on Tehran, forcing it to eventually scale back its commitments in response. 

The new US administration has expressed willingness to rejoin and Iran is ready to resume compliance, but there are challenges over the procedures. 

JCPOA’s Joint Commission initiated talks in early April to remove obstacles to the deal’s full implementation. They have tasked three working groups of experts with identifying the steps to be taken by the US and Iran, and determining their sequence.

Participants have so far described negotiations as making good progress, saying they have reached a stage when joint documents could be drafted. 

Russia’s envoy said after the Tuesday meeting, “The discussions proved that participants are guided by the unity of purpose, which is full restoration of the nuclear deal in its original form.”

“It was decided to expedite the process,” Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted. 

He had earlier said this possibility cannot be ruled out that the new round of talks will be longer than the previous one. 

On the Sidelines

Before the commission meeting, participants as usual held bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who heads Iran’s delegation, met twice with Mora for talks with the three European countries.  

The Iranian delegation also held a trilateral meeting with Chinese and Russian representatives ahead of the meeting to review the latest developments around the talks. 

They emphasized the need for the US removal of all sanctions at once, as a precondition for its return to the deal, ISNA reported.

Iran has said that it is ready to swiftly reverse its nuclear steps after the US sanctions are fully removed and its effectiveness is verified.  

The three delegations also underlined their mutual understanding and called for continued and regular consultations on the issue. 

“We compared notes and exchanged views on the way ahead toward the full restoration of the nuclear deal. It was a very fruitful meeting,” Ulyanov tweeted. 


JCPOA nuclear deal signatories