Negotiations to restore the Iran nuclear deal in Vienna have made “relatively satisfactory progress,” Iranian negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said on Thursday.
“Some written changes on the lifting of sanctions were established between the two parties and relatively satisfactory progress has been made over the first days of the eighth round of negotiations,” Bagheri Kani said.
After talks concluded on Thursday, Russia’s envoy in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, said the negotiations are now on a brief new year’s pause and will resume on January 3rd.
When the negotiations restarted at the end of November, the US demanded that Iran accept a draft agreement reached with the previous Iranian government. But Tehran wants more sanctions relief and submitted new draft proposals. Bagheri Kani said the focus of the talks has been on sanctions relief.
“The discussions focused mainly on the lifting of sanctions,” he said. “We hope that after a few days of pause, more serious work will continue on the question of lifting sanctions.”
Earlier this week, the US and its European allies warned time was running out to reach an agreement. State Department spokesman Ned Price cautioned against optimistic comments from Iran and said it was still too soon to tell if Iran was taking a “constructive” approach. The UK, France, and Germany released a joint statement warning there were only “weeks” left the revive the JCPOA.