Top Iranian, Chinese diplomats discuss JCPOA in Austria

Tasnim – While senior diplomats from Iran, the Group 4+1 (Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) and the EU have gathered in Vienna to discuss the future of the Iran nuclear deal, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had a meeting with his Chinese counterpart.

Accompanied by their delegations, Zarif and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Vienna’s Palais Coburg hotel on Friday morning ahead of a plenary session aimed at finding ways to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Iranian foreign minister is also going to have a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Earlier in the morning, Zarif had a working breakfast with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.

Reporters suggest that British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson may absent himself from the Friday’s ministerial meeting in Vienna because of tight meetings on Brexit. UK Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt will reportedly attend the talks.

In comments before leaving Paris to Vienna on Friday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was unlikely that European powers would be able to put together an economic package for Iran for saving the JCPOA before November.

On Thursday, president of Iran confirmed that the country has received a long-awaited European proposal for saving the Iran nuclear deal, but complained that the ‘disappointing’ package does not meet Tehran’s demands and still needs to provide a clear practical plan with definite time frame.

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the JCPOA, which was achieved in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has underlined that any decision to keep the JCPOA running without the US should be conditional on “practical guarantees” from the Europeans.