Vienna Nuclear Talks Nearing Successful Conclusion, Sides Say

Iran and world powers including the United States concluded their fourth round of nuclear negotiations in Vienna on Wednesday, as the sides look to secure an agreement enabling a mutual return to compliance with the abandoned 2015 pact.

Russia’s representative to the talks, which began in early May, said all sides agreed “good or significant progress was made and that an agreement was within reach,” while the European Union’s top official at the negotiations added he was certain “a final agreement is not far from now.”

The sides will resume talks in the Austrian capital next week after a quick huddle in their respective home countries. The indirect discussions between US and Iranian diplomats, mediated by European envoys shuttling between the two delegations’ hotels, will likely need to be finalized before the June 18 Iranian elections, when a hard-line candidate may replace moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

Washington has demanded Iran roll back its many violations of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action before any sanctions are lifted, while Tehran insists the sanctions placed by former US President Donald Trump after his withdrawal from the agreement in 2018 be entirely removed first.

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