Apr 20, 2021 - World

After nuclear talks, Iran's president says deal could be reached soon

Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Iranian Presidency Handout via Getty

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday, after another round of nuclear talks in Vienna, that an agreement can be reached in a short time if the U.S. acts with "honesty."

Why it matters: Rouhani’s optimism comes as representatives of Iran and other world powers, including the U.S., are about to start drafting a plan to restore the 2015 nuclear deal.

"The talks in Vienna have progressed about 60, 70% and if the Americans act within the framework of honesty, we will achieve results in a short time."
— Hassan Rouhani in a meeting with political activists in Tehran

Driving the news: Senior diplomats from Iran, the EU, France, Germany, the U.K., Russia and China met today in Vienna to review the progress made by two expert working groups.

  • The groups have focused on the steps required from the U.S. on sanctions relief and from Iran on its nuclear program. The EU announced that a third group would now be formed to focus on the sequencing of those potential measures from the U.S. and Iran.
  • U.S. envoy Rob Malley and his team didn’t attend the plenary meeting but held indirect talks with the Iranians through EU representatives. They also met with members of the other delegations in Vienna.
  • State Department spokesman Ned Price said the talks in Vienna this week were businesslike and positive, but “there is still a long road ahead of us. Most of the road is still ahead of us.”
  • Price said the U.S. and Iran have a common goal of restoring the deal, but the U.S. will not make concessions without being certain that Iran will return to full compliance.

What’s next: The members of the various delegations are expected to go back to their capitals for consultations and then return to Vienna for another round of talks next week, the EU said in a statement.

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