VIENNA: Talks aimed at salvaging Iran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal with world powers adjourned on Friday to allow the Iranian negotiator to return home for consultations after a round marked by tensions over new demands from Tehran.
European diplomats said it was a disappointing pause and that negotiators in Vienna are rapidly “reaching the end of the road”. However, they did point to some technical progress so far.
Participants said they aim to resume quickly, though they haven’t yet firmed up a date. China’s chief negotiator, Wan Qun, said the talks will resume hopefully before the end of the year. Enrique Mora, the European Union diplomat who chaired the talks, echoed that, saying: “I hope it will be during 2021.”
The current talks in Vienna among the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA opened on Nov 29, after more than five months, a gap caused by the arrival of a new government in Iran. There was also a short break last week as delegations returned home to consult with their governments.
The United States has participated indirectly in the ongoing talks because it withdrew from the accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump. President Joe Biden has signalled that he wants to re-join the deal.