First day of Iranian nuclear deal talks end without concrete progress

VIENNA /WASHINGTON, D.C. / TEHRAN — Under the auspices of the European Union, talks were organized in Vienna on Tuesday to discuss the Iranian nuclear agreement and to negotiate the return of Washington and Tehran to the commitment. The talks were held with the participation of the countries concerned with the agreement, namely Russia, China, Germany, France, and the Unite Kingdom.

The first day of the talks did not achieve the desired result. Despite the lack of concrete progress, the U.S. and Iranian sides described the indirect talks as constructive and positive, though they remained attached to their previous stances and conditions for returning to the agreement.

Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department Ned Price stated in the daily press briefing that he does not expect direct negotiations with Iran, but these indirect discussions with Iran are a welcome and constructive step.

“The indirect negotiations are useful in our endeavor to determine what we and the Iranians must do to return to the agreement,” said Price.

Commenting on Iran’s demand to lift all sanctions, Price declared, “We are aware of the need to ensure sanctions ease, but the maximum demands are not constructive and will not lead to anything.”

White House Press Secretary Jane Saki stated that the Biden Administration does not expect any change in policy towards Iran during the negotiations, stressing that it will allow the negotiations to continue.

On the Iranian side, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi considered the talks constructive, but rejected any proposal to free one billion dollars of Iran’s frozen funds in exchange for reducing the level of uranium enrichment, saying that he did not accept the principle of “this for that”.

The spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Stéphane Dujarric, expressed his hope and support for the negotiation process, adding that it will take some time, and that there is a lot of work to be done.

Regarding the date of the next negotiation session, Russia’s delegate to international organizations, Mikhail Ulyanov, said that the second session will be held on 9 April.