‘Serious differences remain over Iran nuclear deal talks’

JCPOA Joint Commission in Vienna.(https://twitter.com/AlainMatton)

Washington, (Asian independent) Washington and Tehran still have serious differences in restoring the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal after six rounds of talks, a senior US State Department official said.

Washington and Tehran have had six rounds of indirect negotiations in Austria’s capital Vienna since April aimed at reviving the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reports Xinhua news agency.

“We still have serious differences that have not been bridged, serious differences with Iran over a host of issues, whether it’s the nuclear steps that Iran needs to take, the sanctions relief that the US would be offering or the sequence of steps that both sides will be taking,” the official told reporters in a briefing call on Thursday.

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added.

The official suggested that a deal between the two sides remains possible, saying the US team would attend the seventh round of talks “sometime in the not too distant future”.

“This process is not going to be open forever,” the official cautioned.

“We do have differences and if we can’t bridge them in the foreseeable future, I think we’re going to have to regroup and figure out how we move ahead.”

Henoted that the election of Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s next president would not affect the US determination to try to reach a deal with Tehran.

Raisi on Monday urged the US to lift “all unjust sanctions” against Iran and ruled out a meeting with President Joe Biden in his first press conference held after the election.

The US government withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018 and unilaterally re-imposed sanctions on Iran.

In response, Iran gradually suspended parts of its JCPOA commitments from May 2019.