May 06, 2021 21:47 UTC
  • Araqchi meets IAEA chief ahead of Iran’s deadline for US sanctions removal

Iran’s top negotiator at the Vienna talks has met with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss the latest developments on multilateral efforts to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, as a key deadline set by Tehran for the removal of US sanctions approaches.

According to Press TV, heading the Iranian negotiating team, Abbas Araqchi arrived in Vienna on Thursday afternoon to attend the fourth round of negotiations with the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, which will kick off on Friday.

Later in the day, Araqchi met with IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

“Two sides discussed the latest developments on JCPOA revival talks and the role of the @iaeaorg as well as mutually interested issues between Iran and the Agency,” Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations, tweeted after the meeting.

Under former president Donald Trump, the US withdrew from the JCPOA and initiated a “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, prompting Tehran to take reciprocal actions by gradually reducing its nuclear commitments under the deal.

In February, Iran halted its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol that allowed the IAEA to carry short-notice inspections at its nuclear sites.

Later in February, Iran and the IAEA reached a technical understanding under which Iran continued to keep the camera footage at its nuclear sites for up to three months in a goodwill gesture in support of diplomacy, waiting to see whether the other parties to the JCPOA can manage to bring the US back into full compliance with the deal.

That deadline would come to an end on May 21, while the prospects of reaching an agreement to bring Washington into compliance with the JCPOA look uncertain.