A ranking Russian diplomat asserts that, despite the hiatus that was brought about in the Vienna nuclear talks, the negotiations should not go back to day one.
“This is very important! We should not resume the Vienna talks on JCPOA from scratch,” Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna, tweeted on Monday.
“During the previous six rounds of negotiations significant and very useful progress has been achieved,” he added.
By the JCPOA, the Russian official was referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the nuclear deal that came about between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the United States, the UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany — in Vienna in 2015. The accord lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Iran in exchange for the Islamic Republic’s enacting some voluntary restrictions in its peaceful nuclear energy program.
However, the US left the JCPOA under former president Donald Trump in 2018 and re-imposed the sanctions as part of its policy of “maximum pressure” targeting the Islamic Republic. Its European allies in the agreement, namely the UK, France, and Germany, bowed down to the American pressure and started toeing the sanctions line as closely as possible.
The talks began earlier this year to examine the potential of the US’s return to the JCPOA, and reversal of a set of nuclear countermeasures that Iran has been taking in reaction to the Western allies’ non-commitment to the deal.
The negotiations, however, entered a hiatus in the run-up to Iran’s presidential elections in June.
The Islamic Republic has said it would come back to the negotiations, but has asserted that the talks have to bring along tangible results for the country.