EU sees progress on key obstacles at Iran nuclear talks

A top European diplomat says he believes international negotiations with Iran will ultimately succeed in re-imposing limits on its nuclear program but indicated that more time may be needed

Enrique Mora, who is coordinating the talks in Vienna, said progress had been made on overcoming key obstacles at the talks.

“This is why we are here: to negotiate these different approaches, and I think we will succeed.”

A landmark agreement in 2015 imposed strict curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for easing U.S. sanctions but the deal was largely abandoned by the former Trump administration three years later.

A joint statement issued by the United States and European Union after Biden’s meetings this week with leaders in Europe described the Vienna process as “critical to ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program and upholding the global nuclear nonproliferation architecture.”

The sides, it said, “share serious concerns” about Iran’s advances in the nuclear program while recognizing that “the lifting of sanctions constitutes an essential part” of a potential deal.

The U.S. is not taking part in the Vienna talks but has sent a senior diplomatic delegation to the Austrian capital to discuss the issue with many of the participating envoys, including Russian officials.

The Iran nuclear negotiations have brought about some alignment between Moscow and Washington despite years of recent tension, and is likely to be discussed at Wednesday’s summit meeting in Geneva between Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. ———

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