Nov 30, 2021 14:17 UTC
  • Russia hails 'successful resumption' of Vienna talks, says working groups on the job

Russia’s lead negotiator has described as “quite successful” the resumption of negotiations in Vienna to put the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement back on track through the removal of the illegal US sanctions imposed on Iran.

“The resumption of the #ViennaTalks is quite successful,” Russia’s Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

Ulyanov also said that at the beginning of the seventh round of the Vienna talks, the participants decided to immediately continue the drafting process in two working groups.

The two working groups were formed months earlier under the Vienna format to separately deal with the removal of US sanctions against Iran and Tehran’s resumption of all of its nuclear obligations under the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — began the seventh round of the talks in the Austrian capital on Monday.

Ulyanov dismisses ‘plan B’ option

Latest reports say the US is exploring a “plan B” with its allies for dealing with Iran if the Vienna talks fail.

Commenting on the reports after Monday’s negotiations in Vienna, Ulyanov said Moscow has a “negative” attitude towards such US positions.

“As far as I understand, the United States is still committed to a negotiated diplomatic solution, but given the very serious development of the Iranian nuclear program, which continues day after day, they have doubts about the achievability of a successful negotiated solution,” he told reporters.

As a fallback, he went on, they say that they are developing a “plan B,” which, one can assume, will be associated with the introduction of additional pressure on Iran in excess of what is available today.

“As for our attitude to such warnings, which are more reminiscent of overt threats, it is, of course, negative. Such statements do not contribute to the formation of a healthy atmosphere in the negotiations, which we say to the Americans with all frankness,” said the Russian diplomat.

He further stressed that there is no reasonable alternative to the process of restoring the JCPOA.

“Thus, the process can be considered launched. It is clear that it will not be easy. The contradictions, primarily between Iran and the Western participants, are quite large on many points,” Ulyanov said.

He added, “But today’s discussion, as well as our separate conversation with US special representative Robert Malley showed that all, without exception, are determined to achieve a positive result. This is the most important prerequisite for the successful continuation and completion of the negotiations.”