Iran Says ‘Good Progress’ Made in Talks to Revive Nuclear Deal

The US and Iran have been engaged in indirect negotiations for weeks now

Iran and other parties involved in the negotiations ongoing in Vienna aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear deal are reporting positive progress in the talks, although there are still issues that need to be worked out. Because President Biden refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions, the two sides need to negotiate what sanctions the US is willing to lift and what amount of relief is acceptable for Tehran.

“Over the past two weeks, which were the fourth round of the talks, I think good progress has been made,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told reporters on Wednesday. Araqchi said that the US and Iranian negotiators need to return to their respective capitals for consultations on outstanding issues. He said the Iranians hope these issues can be resolved “in the next round of the talks.”

The US and Ira have been talking indirectly in Vienna with the help of the remaining JCPOA participants and the European Union. The EU envoy heading the negotiations had positive things to say about the latest round of talks. “I think we are on the right track, and we will get an agreement,” said EU envoy Enrique Mora.

The Russian envoy in Vienna said on Twitter that he hopes the next round of talks will be the final one. “The 4th round of the Vienna talks is over. The #JCPOA participants at their meeting today noted that ‘good’ or ‘significant’ progress was made and that an agreement is within reach,'” said Mikhail Ulyanov. “The Joint Commission will resume its work early next week. Hopefully the 5th round will be final.”

In Washington, State Department deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter was asked about the talks. “In some of these discussions, it’s really helped to crystallize choices that may be made by Iran as well as by the United States in order to come back into compliance for compliance, as in a mutual return to compliance with the JCPOA,” she said. Porters also said she could not comment on the positive progress reported by the parties who attended the negotiations.

US officials have previously tried to portray Iran as the difficult party to the negotiations. But the fact that Iran is even negotiating is a major concession since it is the US that violated the JCPOA. The US has the power to revive the deal at any time by lifting sanctions that have been imposed since the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement in 2018.

The two sides could be trying to wrap up negotiations before Iran’s presidential election in June. Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani is expected to be replaced by a hardliner who might not be as patient with Washington.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.