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Russian Envoy Says No Grounds for Pessimism on Future of JCPOA

 A senior Russian diplomat said there are no grounds for pessimistic evaluations of the situation around the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program and its future yet.

Speaking on Wednesday on the sixth anniversary of the Iranian nuclear agreement reached on July 14, 2015, Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna and head of the Russian delegation at the consultations on reviving the JCPOA Mikhail Ulyanov added, though, that there shouldn’t be any heightened expectations.

“There are no grounds for a pessimistic evaluation of the situation or a pessimistic future outlook. Above all, because all participants of the talks, including the Iranians, are indicating that they positively evaluate the work that had already been accomplished and agree that it should be continued,” he told TASS.

“This doesn’t mean that the talks will be easy. However, there is definitely an intent to continue them.”

On June 20, 2021, negotiators working on reviving the Iranian nuclear deal took a break in order to hold consultations in their capitals in preparation for the final round of the talks. The beginning of the seventh round has not yet been scheduled.

The face-to-face talks between Iran and the international “group of five” (Russia, the UK, Germany, China, and France) have been underway in Vienna since April in order to revive the Iranian nuclear deal in its initial form, through lifting Washington’s sanctions against Iran, implementing nuclear obligations by Tehran, and returning the US to the deal. The representatives of the JCPOA member states are also holding separate consultations with the US delegation without Iranian participation. All the delegations were initially planning to finish working at the end of May, and then – in early June.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Monday that the parties involved in the Vienna talks on the revival of the JCPOA are reaching the final stage.

“In short, in view of the progress made thus far, it could be said that we are approaching the end of the Vienna talks. There are certain outstanding issues, but the important point is that issues resolved so far outweigh those that remain unresolved,” he said, adding, “We have come a long way so far, but the rest of the way is not going to be an easy path.”

“We hope the other parties (to the JCPOA) would be able to make their decisions. In that case, we would achieve an agreement, which would be desirable for all,” the spokesman said.

Khatibzadeh added that all participating delegates believe that good advances have been made in the talks, “but they are also in agreement that some key issues must be first dealt with by higher authorities in their respective countries.”

“The consensus in our country is that firstly, the US sanctions must be removed in a verifiable way and secondly, demands outside the JCPOA’s framework have nothing to do with this deal. It has been said (by Iran) time and again that as soon as the nuclear agreement is implemented in full (by other parties) and this is verified, the Islamic Republic of Iran will restart full implementation of its commitments,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, Press TV reported.

He underlined that Iran’s position has not changed since the commencement of the talks in Vienna.

“We demand the removal of sanctions followed by verification before our country restarts fulfilling its commitments. On the other hand, the United States as the violator of the JCPOA, must give necessary assurances (that it will not leave the deal again),” Khatibzadeh said.

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