(News with US State Department, details)
by Humeyra Pamuk and Miranda Murray
WASHINGTON / BERLIN, December 29 (Reuters) – Heads of Russian and US delegations in Iranian nuclear talks met on Wednesday in Vienna, where an eighth round of talks to revive the 2015 accord began on Monday, an objective for which Washington and Moscow say they are in coordination.
Russia’s chief negotiator Mikhal Ulyanov said he had met twice with US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley, posting photos on Twitter showing the two representatives sitting on either side of the room. ‘a long table.
Asked about the content of the exchange, the US State Department said it did not disclose the details of diplomatic conversations.
“Close consultations and coordination between the Russian and American delegations during the Vienna talks is an important prerequisite for progress towards the reestablishment of the JCPOA”, wrote Mikhal Ulyanov in reference to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (PAGC, JCPOA in English) signed in 2015 by Iran, the United States, Russia, China and the “E3” – Germany, France, United Kingdom.
Separately, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by telephone with his German, French and British counterparts, his services announced. They discussed in particular their “shared concerns” on the advances of the Iranian nuclear program.
The PAGC, which oversees Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions targeting it, was denounced by former US President Donald Trump in 2018. Since then, Thran has gradually freed itself from the terms of the agreement. agreement, in particular concerning uranium enrichment limits.
A new round of indirect negotiations aimed at bringing Iran and the United States back into the agreement began on Monday in Vienna. Thran is now focusing on just one side of the deal, the lifting of economic sanctions, even as voices denounce advances in its nuclear program that the PAGC was intended to prevent.
Washington on Tuesday expressed caution in the face of optimistic comments from Iran and Russia on the advance of talks, saying it was still too early to say whether Thran had resumed negotiations with a constructive spirit.
According to a senior US representative, US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Poutine are expected to discuss Iranian nuclear issues during their scheduled telephone interview on Thursday.
“The United States, our European partners and the Russians are in fairly close coordination Vienna, working together in a rather constructive manner,” he said Wednesday on condition of anonymity. (Reporting Miranda Murray Berlin, Humeyra Pamuk and Trevor Hunnicutt Washington; French version Matthieu Protard and Jean Terzian)