Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator on Tuesday urged the US to lift the sanctions from his country in a bid to restore the 2015 nuclear accord as talks between Iran and the world powers still party to the deal ended in Vienna.
“The lifting of the US sanctions is the first and most important aspect in reviving the JCPOA” or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the formal name for the nuclear deal – said Abbas Araghchi in the Austrian capital following talks with senior officials from the European Union, Germany, Britain, France, China, and Russia.
The negotiations kicked off with the participation of diplomats of the signatory countries under the presidency of Enrique Mora, deputy secretary general and political director of the EU Foreign Affairs Service, on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
The talks in Vienna focused on aspects of lifting US sanctions on Tehran as well as prospects for the return of the US, which left the agreement unilaterally in May 2018 under then-President Donald Trump.
"Our clear goal is to return to the full and effective implementation of the agreement by all parties," said Mora on social media ahead of the meeting.
For the first time in more than two years, the US delegation reportedly exchanged views on returning to the deal with the parties to the agreement, except Iran.
Aragchi had earlier said there would be no direct or indirect talks with US officials on the sidelines of the nuclear talks in Vienna.
The deal was signed between the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the US, Britain, France, Russia and China, as well as Germany and the EU and Iran, in 2015 to control and regulate Iran's nuclear activities and to remove sanctions in return.
The last face-to-face meeting of the current participants was held in Vienna in February 2020.
By Oliver Towfigh Nia in Vienna