Iran Optimistic as Nuclear Deal Talks Resume in Vienna

Iran's top negotiator says participants agreed that 'good progress' was made in previous round

Iran’s negotiator struck a positive tone as nuclear deal negotiations resumed in Vienna on Monday for the eighth round of talks after a brief pause.

Iranian negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani met with officials representing the EU and the other remaining JCPOA participants: China, Russia, France, the UK, and Germany. After the meeting, Bagheri Kani said the officials agreed “good progress” had been made during the seventh round of talks that concluded 10 days earlier.

When the talks first restarted at the end of November, the US wanted Iran to accept a draft agreement reached with the previous Iranian government. But Tehran wanted more sanctions relief and submitted draft proposals. Bagheri Khani said the world powers agreed on a framework for how to work forward.

“The important thing in this Joint Commission meeting was that different sides emphasized on the importance of prioritizing the lifting of sanctions, and also verification and guarantees during the eighth round,” he said.

In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Iran wants the new round of talks to focus on sanctions relief so Iran can trade its oil. He said Iran wants to get to a “point where Iranian oil is being sold easily and without any barriers and its money arrives in Iran’s bank accounts.”

Leading up to Monday’s talks, US officials had negative things to say about the process and warned time was running out. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan visited Israel last week and reportedly reassured Israeli officials that the US was willing to take a harder line if necessary. He warned the deadline for the negotiations would come “within weeks” if an agreement isn’t reached.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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