The EU, which acts as coordinator of the commission to monitor the nuclear agreement, has pointed out that the groups of experts have informed the parties about the possibilities to guarantee nuclear implementation and lift sanctions.
According to a senior State Department official, the United States is “prepared” to lift some of the sanctions imposed on Iran when it “returns to fulfill its obligations under the nuclear agreement,” according to a senior State Department official.
In a press conference on the United States’ participation in the Vienna summit on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the senior official specified that Washington would withdraw sanctions that “are inconsistent with the agreement and with the benefits that are supposed to be derived from the agreement,” but has indicated that there are “legitimate sanctions.”
“The United States reserves the right to impose sanctions for non-nuclear reasons, whether for terrorism or human rights violations or interference in our elections, among others,” he added.
Iran has insisted on several occasions that first, the United States must return to the agreement. Tehran would commit to full compliance with it, and the US Administration would lift the sanctions approved in the Donald Trump era.
In this regard, the senior official has pointed out that “it is not an easy process” because “the Trump Administration did everything possible to make it difficult for his successor to rejoin the agreement.”
“So we have to make an effort, the conscientious effort, to review the sanctions to see what they are, which ones should be lifted in order to rejoin the JCPOA and which ones should be maintained,” he added.
In the indirect talks at the summit, the senior official has said that Iran has not been provided with a list of sanctions that the United States would be willing to eliminate and has warned that the two sides are heading towards “a deadlock. “If Iran complies with its demand that the United States lift all sanctions.
“There is still a question as to whether the seriousness of the purpose and the intention to return to compliance that the United States has demonstrated will be reciprocal on the part of Iran,” he also questioned.
The joint commission of the Iranian nuclear agreement has completed this Friday in Vienna, the first round of the process to facilitate the United States’ return to the pact. After a positive meeting, it has been called next week to continue the work.
The EU, which acts as coordinator of the commission for monitoring the nuclear agreement, has pointed out that the groups of experts have informed the parties about the possibilities to guarantee nuclear implementation and lift sanctions.
“The participants took note of the constructive exchange and focused on results,” said European diplomacy in a statement on the process opened by the EU to achieve the return of the United States to the pact signed in 2015, as well as guarantee that Iran is committed to full compliance with it.
Regarding the talks, the senior US official has asserted that there have been “some signs” of Tehran’s intention to comply with the pact, “but not enough.”
“There are still doubts about whether Iran is willing to do what is necessary,” said the senior official, who said that the talks would be “better” if they could sit down with the Iranians directly.
In this way, the US official has indicated that the talks are “the first step in the first phase” of a possible return to the nuclear agreement.
Launched last Tuesday, the diplomatic process seeks, based on the expert groups’ work, to design a choreography that allows the parties to re-commit to the agreement. The idea is to take advantage of the “window of opportunity” posed by Joe Biden’s arrival to the White House, who has shown his willingness to lift the sanctions against Tehran.
The European bloc plays a key role as a mediator to preserve an agreement that it considers essential for stability and security worldwide. In Vienna, the political work is coordinated by the Deputy Secretary-General of the EU Foreign Action Service, the Spanish diplomat Enrique Mora, who has intensified contacts with all parties to the agreement in recent days, as well as with Washington.
To this end, for the past ten days, Mora has held meetings with delegations from Iran, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany and, separately, with the United States to discuss the future of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (PAIC), the technical name of the nuclear agreement. This phase is likely to last several months and will not be resolved until after the Iranian presidential elections scheduled for next June.