The nuclear negotiations in Vienna are very difficult

Shortly after the end of the official brief meeting held today, Thursday, in Vienna, among the participants in the seventh round of nuclear talks with Iran, the European Union Coordinator, Enrique Mora, confirmed in a brief statement, according to what Al-Arabiya / Al-Hadath correspondent reported, that the negotiations are very difficult.

He also added, “We’ll see where we get in the coming days.” He added, “There are still different positions that must be brought closer, and this is the basis of negotiations, and we will see how progress can be made.”

No optimism or pessimism!

In addition, he made it clear that at this stage he could not speak of optimism or pessimism, but rather saw that all parties should be realistic about what they could obtain.

He said, “We approach this file with the necessary realism to obtain an agreement, because the situation is difficult and there are many differences that must be addressed, but the time is short to achieve that.”

As Russia’s delegate to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, described the meeting as constructive.

“narrowing the gaps”

While the chief Iranian negotiator, Ali Bagheri, indicated that all parties to the talks expressed their willingness to work on “narrowing the gaps.”

He also stressed, according to official Iranian media, that his country is serious about the talks, and adheres to its vision at the same time.

And Ulyanov had explained in a tweet via his Twitter account, earlier today, that “the participants held an official meeting of the joint committee on the nuclear agreement, after a series of preparatory meetings that took place in the morning.”

And in response to one of the tweeters about the atmosphere, and whether he was feeling optimistic, he replied in the affirmative, without giving further details.

cautious atmosphere

It is noteworthy that the seventh round of nuclear talks resumed after a 5-day hiatus, which was requested by the Western countries for consultations after the Iranian delegation presented proposals that the Europeans and Americans described as undermining the principle of negotiation, and bearing a significant regression from what was agreed upon in the previous six rounds.

The US administration considered that this round will test the extent of Tehran’s seriousness and commitment to achieving actual progress at the negotiating table.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna (Associated Press)

last chance

I also warned yesterday that today’s meetings will constitute a last opportunity for Iran to revive the agreement signed in 2015, which the administration of former US President Donald withdrew from in 2018, re-imposing many sanctions. “The country will be able to quickly judge whether Tehran is really willing to negotiate seriously,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told a regular briefing.

The talks were temporarily suspended on the third of December (started on November 29, 2021), after the Iranian delegation headed by Ali Bagheri Kani submitted two drafts of new proposals, which were described as disappointing and unacceptable.

While Tehran stressed that the West did not present any initiative during the talks. Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, according to what was reported by local media today, that his country had not yet noticed any “constructive and effective” proposal by the European parties in the nuclear negotiations.

He also renewed his criticism of the statements of the European Troika countries (Britain, France and Germany), and their positions, which he described as “negative politically and in the media,” considering it a “useless step and a factor in complicating the course of the agreement.”

It is noteworthy that France, Britain and Germany criticized during the past few days the Iranian proposals submitted to the negotiators in the Austrian capital, considering them rejected.

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