Mikhail Ulyanov’s comments came amid intensive nuclear talks in Vienna between Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The fifth round of nuclear talks in Vienna between Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA was resumed on May 25. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi visited the Austrian capital for nuclear talks that are aimed to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Today, the fifth round of our negotiations with the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, which consists of Iran and the P4+1 countries, began, and we had the first meeting of the Joint Commission. Work will continue by working groups in both nuclear area and sanctions lifting, and a third working group on how to implement the agreements will also continue,” Araghchi told state media Tuesday after a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission, which marked the beginning of the fifth round of the nuclear talks.
He added, “All parties are still serious and have taken these talks seriously, many delegations are hoping that this round can be the last round of talks and we will reach a conclusion. You can have such hope, but you have to be a little bit cautious. The issues that remain to be finalized and decided are still important issues, although their number has decreased and we have made great strides in writing the text in previous periods. We can move forward further, but the few issues that remain are still key issues that need to be decided.”
In recent days, however, a wave of speculations resurfaced that the negotiating parties in the Austrian capital may fail to reach a final agreement by the end of the fifth round, which is expected to take two weeks.
Ulyanov rejected these assumptions, saying that the current round will highly likely be the last one.
Responding to a Twitter user’s question on when the next round of talks would begin, Ulyanov tweeted, “The fifth round of the Vienna talks on JCPOA is under way. As of now, there are no plans for the sixth. The negotiators proceed from the understanding that the current round should be final.”
Araghchi has said that he could not say if the Vienna talks would be concluded in the current round. He told Press TV that he still cannot ascertain that a conclusion was possibly within reach despite progress made on some key differences over reviving the landmark deal.
“In the last round, we were able to make some meaningful progress in our negotiations but still there are some key issues to be resolved,” Araghchi said.
“I cannot say that we are able to conclude our job in this round of negotiations but this is possible; it depends on how much we are able to make progress on key issues and how much the other parties are prepared to make their own difficult decisions,” the Iranian deputy foreign minister underlined. “I am not confident that it would be possible to conclude the negotiations but there is a possibility.”