Iran's Top Nuclear Negotiator Returns to Vienna for Eighth Round of Talks

'No restriction on time can prevent the continuation of the talks for a good agreement,' an Iranian newspaper wrote as Ali Bagheri Kani returns to Vienna to resolve remaining disputes

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FILE PHOTO: A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran's National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran in 2021.
FILE PHOTO: A number of new generation Iranian centrifuges are seen on display during Iran's National Nuclear Energy Day in Tehran, Iran in 2021.Credit: IRANIAN PRESIDENCY OFFICE/ REU

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani will return to Vienna on Sunday evening for talks on resolving the remaining issues in indirect negotiations with the United States to revive a 2015 deal, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Bagheri Kani, who flew to Tehran last week for consultations with Iranian officials, will “pursue the negotiations with a clear agenda aimed at resolving” the remaining issues, IRNA said.

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Nournews, which is affiliated to Iran's Supreme National Security Council that is in charge of the nuclear talks dossier, said a council meeting stressed “the need to quickly resolve the remaining issues that border between agreement and dead end”.

It did not name the sticking points, but the main remaining disputes appear to include the extent of sanctions rollback and questions about uranium traces found at several old but undeclared sites.

“No restriction on time can prevent the continuation of the talks for a good agreement,” Nournews added. Iran has made clear it wants an end to the oil and banking sanctions that are hurting its economy, while insisting also on the lifting of human rights and terrorism-related curbs.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani arrives at the Palais Coburg, a site where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, Austria, in February.Credit: Lisa Leutner/AP

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran was ready to “immediately conclude” a deal in talks to revive its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers if Western powers show real will.

“Seriously reviewing draft of the agreement… Our red lines are made clear to Western parties. Ready to immediately conclude a good deal, should they show real will,” Amirabdollahian said on Twitter.

Ambirabdollahin is due on Tuesday to report to the Iranian parliament on the progress of the talks, local media said.

On Friday, a senior U.S. State Department official said negotiators had made significant progress in the past week or so on reviving the deal but very tough issues remained.

The pact was abandoned in 2018 by then-U.S. President Donald Trump, who also reimposed extensive sanctions on Iran. The deal between Iran and world powers limited Tehran's enrichment of uranium to make it harder for it to develop material for nuclear weapons, if it chose to, in return for a lifting of international sanctions against Tehran.

Other parties to the deal - Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia - have shuttled between the two sides during the Vienna talks.

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