Iran Nuclear Talks Start on Positive Note in Vienna

April 9, 2021


Steven Erlanger


The New York Times

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  • China
  • European Union
  • France
  • Germany
  • Russia
  • United Kindom

On April 9, the signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 international agreement that imposed restrictions on Iran's nuclear program, finished the first week of meetings in Vienna on how to return Iran and the United States to compliance with the deal. Representatives from Iran and the United States did not meet face to face, instead relying on diplomats from the European Union, which chairs the JCPOA Joint Commission, and the other JCPOA signatories—China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom—as go-betweens. The discussions were carried out in two working groups, one addressing how to lift nuclear-related U.S. sanctions on Iran and the other focusing on bringing Iran's uranium-enrichment activities back within the parameters of the JCPOA. Iran, Russia, and the European Union expressed satisfaction with the progress of the talks, and all sides agreed to meet again the following Wednesday. A spokesman for the U.S. State Department stated the United States' willingness to lift sanctions that are "inconsistent" with the JCPOA, a definition that may exclude sanctions imposed under human rights and terrorism authorities, such as those on the Central Bank of Iran.