Negotiators head home as Iran talks hit critical stage

i24NEWS - AFP

2 min read
The flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flutters in front of the IAEA building in Vienna on July 10, 2019.
Alex Halada/AFPThe flag of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flutters in front of the IAEA building in Vienna on July 10, 2019.

'This is one of the most tedious, long and difficult parts of the negotiations, but is absolutely essential'

Chief negotiators from Iran and Europe returned home for consultations as talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal reached a critical stage, state media in the Islamic republic said Saturday.

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"The negotiators will return to Vienna in two days" but expert-level discussions at the eighth round of talks would continue on Saturday and Sunday, IRNA news agency said.

The talks between Tehran and world powers resumed in late November after they were suspended for around five months as Iran elected a new, ultraconservative government.

Iran agreed the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

It offered the Islamic Republic sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.

But former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and imposed crippling sanctions, prompting Iran to begin rolling back its commitments.

"We are now at a stage of the negotiations where we are discussing difficult issues and how we can translate the subjects that we agreed upon in principle into words and enter them into a document," IRNA quoted an anonymous source as saying.

"We are discussing the details," the source said, adding that "this is one of the most tedious, long and difficult parts of the negotiations, but is absolutely essential for achieving our goal."

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