‘Right direction’: Iran nuclear officials optimistic about deal


Negotiators from Iran, the United States and the European Union resume indirect talks on Tehran’s nuclear deal after a months-long standstill.

Top negotiators in renewed talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal said they were optimistic about the possibility of reaching an agreement to impose restrictions on Tehran’s uranium enrichment.

“We are five minutes or five seconds from the finish,” Russian ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters outside the Palais Coburg in Vienna on Sunday, four days after the talks. He said there are still “three or four problems” to be solved.

“They are sensitive, especially to Iranians and Americans,” Ulyanov said. “I can’t guarantee it, but the impression is that we are on the right track.”

Enrique Mora, the European Union’s top negotiator, also said he is “absolutely” optimistic about the progress of the negotiations so far.

“We are making progress and I expect that we will conclude the negotiations soon,” he told Iranian media.

Negotiators from Iran, the United States and the EU resumed indirect talks on Thursday over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal after a months-long standstill in negotiations.

Hours after the US imposed a new wave of sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical exports, Tehran responded by issuing an order to feed gas into “hundreds” of advanced centrifuges, further accelerating its nuclear program.

Iran signed a nuclear deal in 2015 with the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China. Under the deal, Iran agreed to restrict uranium enrichment under the supervision of United Nations inspectors in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Then US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the accord in 2018, saying he would negotiate a stronger deal, but it didn’t happen. A year later, Iran began breaking the terms of the deal.

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