Negotiations between Iran and the other remaining nuclear deal participants to revive the agreement resumed in Vienna on Thursday. Although the talks lasted only about an hour, the EU official brokering the talks said he’d seen a “renewed sense of purpose” since the last round that was held last week.
The US is participating in the talks indirectly, and a delegation led by President Biden’s special envoy for Iran is expected to arrive in Vienna this weekend. The US has been accusing Iran of not taking the negotiations seriously by asking for more sanctions relief.
Before Thursday’s talks, the US slapped fresh sanctions on Iran, and US officials heading to the UAE to work to tighten other sanctions. The fact that the US is ramping up the pressure during the negotiations signals that Washington is the party that’s not serious about the talks, which Iranian officials have pointed out.
The European JCPOA participants — Britain, France, and Germany — are backing the US and have called on Tehran to change its stance. But Iran’s top negotiator said it is keeping its position. “Iran underlined that it is seriously continuing the talks based on its previous position,” Ali Bagheri Kani told reporters after Thursday’s meeting.
Russia’s envoy in Vienna had positive things to say after the meeting. “The meeting of the Joint Commission is over. It was rather short and constructive,” Mikhail Ulyanov wrote on Twitter. “The participants observed a number of important commonalities in their positions, including with regard to the need to finalize the Vienna Talks on restoration of JCPOA successfully and swiftly.”