Iran's nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani in Moscow. December 7, 2021

Iran's nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani in Moscow. December 7, 2021

Iran Says Vienna Nuclear Talks Will Resume Thursday


Iranian news agencies quoted chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani, who is in Moscow, as saying that the Vienna nuclear talks will resume on Thursday.

Semi-official news agency ISNA quoted Bagheri as saying, "We await practical steps by the West." Earlier, the IRGC-linked news agency Tasnim had revealed that Bagheri has finalized the date for the resumption of the talks after contacting European Union coordinator Enrique Mora.

Other negotiating parties have not confirmed the Iranian report.

The talks broke off on Friday "as European officials voiced dismay at sweeping demands by Iran's new hardline government," Reuters reported, adding that the seventh round of talks in Vienna is the first with delegates sent by Iran's anti-Western President Ebrahim Raisi on how to resuscitate the agreement under which Iran limited its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions.

According to ISNA, Bagheri expressed hope that his consultations with Russian officials would help Iran to continue the talks "with new and effective initiatives." Bagheri added that Iran also continues consultations with China about furthering the nuclear negotiations.

Meanwhile, expounding on Iran’s proposals presented to Europeans on Friday, Bagheri said: "What we offered in those drafts were nothing new. We had simply completed previous drafts, adding what was missing in the 2015 agreement. But in fact, European and US diplomats have said that Iran reneged on earlier compromises made during six rounds of talks from April to June.

On Tuesday, the French foreign ministry expressed “disappointment” that Vienna talks failed to move forward, saying "proposals presented by Iran... do not constitute a reasonable basis that is compatible with objective of a rapid conclusion while respecting interests of all."

In an odd comment on Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said while everyone went back to their capitals on Friday, Iran kept most of its delegate in Vienna to show that it is serious about negotiations.

A website close to Iran's intelligence community said Tuesday that the make-up of Iran's negotiating team is going to change and the team's approach is going to become "aggressive."

Mashregh News reported this without quoting any sources, adding that "it is the Western side that needs to show goodwill in the 8th round of negotiations." Meanwhile, The website opined that "The more aggressive the Iranian team's approach, the more likely the West would soften its positions."

The website also called for "confronting the West's media onslaught about the Vienna talks." In another odd comment, Mashregh news claimed that "as Iranian diplomats had the upper hand in the 7th round of the talks, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged the US delegation's weakness in the negotiations and told Reuters that the maximum pressure policy led to the United States' isolation rather than isolating Iran."

Mashregh News also claimed that the United States is also going to change the make-up of its delegation. This comes while Iran and America's delegates do not talk to each other and dialogue between them is maintained by the delegates of other JCPOA member states. However, the website added that before the new round of the talks "The Western side should be told that Iran's only motivation in continuing the talks is gaining economic profit, otherwise, Tehran is not interested in playing with words."

In another development, a White House official told reporters on Monday that President Joe Biden will raise the issue of Iran’s nuclear program in his video teleconference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

The official reiterated US concerns that Iran’s advances in its nuclear program will be discussed as a major international concern during the Biden-Putin call.

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