Unhurried pace of Vienna talks proves US overestimated impact of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran: Russia

Reacting to the almost one-month pause in the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Russia’s permanent representative to the international organizations in the Austrian capital says the course of the talks proves that the US overestimated the impact of its so-called maximum pressure campaign on Iran.

“The course of the #ViennaTalks proves once again that US overestimated the influence of maximum pressure on #Iran. Pressure continues but Iran isn’t in the rush although it knows that the sooner the talks are completed the sooner sanctions are lifted,” Mikhail Ulyanov, who is also Russia’s lead negotiator to the Vienna talks, said via Twitter on Thursday.

Ulyanov underlined that sanctions are not the only factor being taken into consideration by the Islamic Republic, which has been negotiating the restoration of the nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with the remaining signatories of the deal since early April, three years after the agreement was ditched by the previous US administration in pursuit of the “maximum pressure” policy.

So far, six rounds of negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital, as a result of which, according to participants, “significant progress” has been made in the course of the “constructive” and “businesslike” talks.

However, disagreements have persisted over a number of issues, including how to sequence the US sanctions removal, with Tehran arguing that since Washington was the party that violated the terms of the agreement, it should take the first step back into compliance with the deal by removing its unilateral sanctions.

Tehran has also asked for guarantees that the US won’t again leave the JCPOA under a new administration. This comes as the other hand, the administration of President Joe Biden says it cannot give such guarantees.

Iran is also dissatisfied with the scope of sanctions that the US is willing to remove, saying the US sanctions removal must cover all the sanctions that were slapped on the Islamic Republic after the JCPOA went into force in January 2016.