Iran nuclear talks resume in Vienna amid new complications
BERLIN (AP) — World powers were set to resume high level talks in Vienna on Tuesday focused on bringing the United States back into the nuclear deal with Iran, in their first session since comments surfaced from the Iranian foreign minister alleging that Russia was trying to scupper the pact.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has thus far refused to comment on the remarks from Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, made in a seven-hour interview with a think tank associated with the Iranian presidency that leaked over the weekend.
Russia's top representative at the Vienna talks, Mikhail Ulyanov, who has outwardly been one of the most optimistic about the possibility of getting Tehran and Washington to agree to terms for the U.S. to rejoin the 2015 deal, also made no mention of the allegations before the meetings, saying in a tweet only that “the participants will continue negotiations on restoration of the nuclear deal.”
Ulyanov is joining representatives from China, Germany, France, and Britain — the other parties to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — for the talks chaired by the European Union.
“Participants will continue their discussions in view of a possible return of the United States to the JCPOA and on how to ensure the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA,” the EU delegation said before the talks.
The U.S. is not at the table because it unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then President Donald Trump, who restored and augmented American sanctions in a campaign of “maximum pressure” to try and force Iran into renegotiating the pact with more concessions. President Joe Biden wants to rejoin the deal, however, and there is a U.S. delegation in Vienna taking part in indirect talks with Iran, with diplomats...