Top Negotiator in Moscow for Nuclear Consultations
EghtesadOnline: Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Baqeri met his Russian counterpart, Sergey Ryabkov, on Friday in Moscow to discuss the status of the negotiations which aim to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The two diplomats stressed that a new round of talks can only be successful if they culminate in the removal of American sanctions on Tehran and the full implementation of the JCPOA by both the United States and Iran, IRNA reported.
The US reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear deal, prompting Iranian leaders to row back on JCPOA commitments until a removal of the bans.
Indirect negotiation started in Vienna, Austria, in April to work out how both sides can return to full compliance.
The talks have been at pause since June, after a change of government in Iran.
The new administration has been reviewing the past rounds of negotiations to prepare for the resumption of the process.
Along this line, Iran and the five remaining powers have agreed to hold separate bilateral consultations to reach common views.
The first meeting was held with the Russian side in Moscow, where Baqeri also met Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative for the Middle East.
“Iran, Russia and China have similar views about the JCPOA, and it is essential that the other European members also adhere to their commitments and work toward the lifting of illegal sanctions,” he said.
Iran demands a full and verified removal of sanctions before reversing its nuclear steps, but the US is reportedly refusing to lift all the bans unconditionally.
Besides the nuclear issue, the Iranian and Russian delegations discussed bilateral relations and the latest regional and international developments during the visit.
Baqeri headed for Russia after a meeting in Brussels with the European Union coordinator of the Vienna talks, Enrique Mora.
In a tweet, he described the talks as “very serious & constructive dialogue” on the essential elements for successful negotiations.
“We agreed to start negotiations before the end of November. Exact date would be announced in the course of the next week,” he added.
EU spokesperson Peter Stano said the meeting in Brussels was “useful” and “helped to define a way forward to resume negotiations in Vienna.”
“We are working together with other partners, including Iran and other signatories [of the Iran nuclear deal], to fix a concrete date as early as possible to reconvene in Vienna,” Stano told a regular briefing.
Western media have reported recently that talks are set to restart between Iran and the P5+1, namely France, Britain, Russia, China and the US, plus Germany who originally signed the nuclear deal.
The deputy foreign minister said Iran’s negotiations are underway with the five remaining parties minus the US.
“Grounds have not been prepared yet for the Americans to return to the JCPOA,” he said.
The EU has been mediating between the two sides ever since the US withdrawal.
In response to another statement by American officials who said Iran must ask its questions of the US, not Europe, Baqeri noted that the EU has always been the coordinator of the Joint Commission and is now coordinating talks between Iran and the P4+1.
“Hopefully, our negotiations will start actually with the P4+1 in November,” he said.